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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: The Video Games Thread  (Read 32794 times)
Will

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #300 on: Nov 14th, 2013, 06:22am »

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #301 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 08:15am »

The Design Studio Behind Xbox Reviews The PlayStation 4

Teague is known for designing Microsoft's original Xbox. Here, they critique Sony's PlayStation 4.


Even if you don't know the design consultancy Teague, you know their work--ranging from the original Polaroid camera to the interiors of almost every Boeing plane to date. They were also the firm Microsoft tapped to design their original Xbox, conceptualize controllers for the Xbox brand, and create the Xbox 360 racing wheel. Imagine our delight when they volunteered to apply their expertise in a critique of the Xbox's latest and greatest competitor, the PlayStation 4.

Sony’s path to the PS4 reads much like any classic story arc.

Act I, PS1 upstaged its toy-like competitors by targeting a more tech-savvy and mature audience.

Act II, PS2 literally destroys its competition, by bringing guns to a knife fight and becoming the highest selling console platform of all time.

Act III, the point of conflict…PS3 was used as a trojan horse to push Blu-ray and 3-D TV technology platforms, theoretically to bolster additional offerings of the Sony brand. However in doing this, Sony lost sight of its core gaming audience and Microsoft gleefully picked up the mantle as the villain in Sony’s story. Sony did succeed in winning the HD format war--Blu-ray is the successor to DVD--but not without casualties, and it’s taken seven long years to restore gamers' faith in the PlayStation brand.

That brings us, potentially, to the final act. With cloud-based technologies promising a more invisible and integrated world, the PS4 ($399, available now) could be the last flesh-and-bone PlayStation console. So how well did Sony pull off the final act? Sony designed both a beautiful console and a much improved controller, but it's almost as if these two components were designed discretely, and they never combined to create a truly cohesive system.

The rest of it (aka the actual analysis):

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3021802/innovation-by-design/the-design-studio-behind-xbox-reviews-the-playstation-4
« Last Edit: Nov 19th, 2013, 08:16am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #302 on: Nov 27th, 2013, 09:08am »

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7528/the-xbox-one-mini-review-hardware-analysis
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7546/chipworks-confirms-xbox-one-soc-has-14-cus
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7513/ps4-spec-update-audio-dsp-is-based-on-amds-trueaudio

Looking at what's happened going back to XBox in 01, moreso than Sony, it has consistently been Microsoft changing what the industry is and how hardware is built, both from a user and programming perspective.

The HDD and Ethernet of OG Xbox. The media content of 360. Now the Kinect Hub/attempt at ownership of the living room -- again and again it's Microsoft redefining what consoles are (apologies to Nintendo, in that the Wii was huge and, in typical fashion, they did absolutely nothing to leverage that through investing the huge profit margins in online infrastructure, Western Devs, or internal HD development; on that note, fuck Nintendo)-- while Sony follows the path.

That doesn't mean it's Good, of course. Live is (was) wonderful as a network. The Hard Drive and processing power of the first XBox at times appeared to be so far ahead of the PS2 it was laughable (all that for a quarter of the market share by 2006).

Kinect, the NSA Monster, is awful. But so are our Smartphones, PCs and any form of Google'ing, government satellites and cameras on every street corner. And how about nanytes?

Without Microsoft, for good or ill, I doubt media integration would be as polished and certainly the power/conflation structure of the chipsets as mini-pcs -- X86 -- would be a non-starter

It's arguable that the further Rise or Return of the Western Dev was largely the synergy between the Xbox/360 chipsets with PCs, where Westerners have always dominated.

Biggest threat remains Android, iOS and, now, Steambox. Only the latter is acceptable: if the other two wipe out consoles, games might as well be dead. Not that MS's attempts to pile on microtransactions is a good sign.

I always love the Anandtech teardowns. Burying the lede.
« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2013, 2:08pm by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #303 on: Nov 29th, 2013, 12:26pm »

on Oct 8th, 2013, 07:25am, Will wrote:
I don't really know how to advise you on the tv front. Remember, we're closing in on incredible shopping days/deals with Black Friday and beyond. Very soon you'll be able to get more for your money.
I did exactly this: today I went out and bought a television and gaming console. I bought a Philips 39" LED 1080p HDTV for only 270 Canadian dollars.

I scored a pretty cheap PS3 (indeed, not the PS4) console with that as well. For $200 I got a 250 GB PS3 Super Slim console with one Dual Shock 3 controller, 30-day PS Plus trial and, how very Canadian, NHL 14, which I'll keep in the seal and sell (I don't live in Canada long enough to like ice hockey). I bought a second Dual Shock3 controller for $30.

I've retrieved almost all of my save data through the backup/restore utility. Unfortunately, the Demon's Souls and Dark Souls saves are locked and can't be restored. That f'ing sucks because I put over a thousand hours into both games. (Yeah, I love those games. Don't judge me, please.)

All in all, I'm really content with these purchases. I can't wait to start gaming again.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #304 on: Nov 30th, 2013, 09:50am »

Got my PS4 yesterday. It's very sexy. Got it all up and running in under 10 mins. Got Ass Creed Black Flag and Killzone.

Only played about an hour and half of Killzone. My god is it pretty though

Mainly been playing Black Flag. Was really excited to play it and loving it so far. I now have my ship, so now story is out the window and it's pillaging time. I've already taken 5 or 6. I'm going to make Black Bark Roberts look like an amateur lol
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #305 on: Nov 30th, 2013, 11:17am »

From what I hear, the PS4 stays really quiet and really cool. there seems to be little heating, keeping the fan noise down.

I'd love to hear more experiences once you get them, Chaos. Have you streamed footage of yourself wanking off during Playroom before the game got banned by Twitch?
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #306 on: Dec 13th, 2013, 2:03pm »

Quote:
Only played about an hour and half of Killzone. My god is it pretty though


Pretty but dumb?

Mercenary's AI isn't too bright (to put it mildly; tactical responses are rudimentary if not nonexistent) but the replay value is better than I expected. Multiple routes, stealth vs all-out assault and varied mission load-ins/parameters.

Yeah, I bought a Vita.

It's pathetic that it's been so thoroughly outsold by the hideous 3DS hardware (hey, look! PPI that is lower than a PSP's).

Great, great device, with some caveats. I don't agree with the assumption that it lacks software but gimping remote play for the PS3 is a real miss from a consumer standpoint -- yeah, obvious from Sony's, so the two don't cannibalize each other -- and as both a corporate and user model it's bizarre that they haven't immediately enabled PS2 emulation. One of the best back-catalogs in gaming history rotting away, while the Vita's sales do the same.

Why?

I was very tempted to install CFW but the community isn't there, like, at all. The thought of this device running Sega's Model 2 (maybe even Model 3) stuff was exciting...and that's all it's likely to remain, an exciting possibility. I'd have to crack both the Vita and the 3 to get remote play to truly work, and that appears to be all I'd get out of it, with the risk of being banned from PS+.

As bad as sales are here, Japan could save the device. I haven't looked at Europe's numbers -- Europe+Japan would be a life saver, particularly on the translation front.

It's also a nice incentive to get a PS4. Gaikai functionality could blow the roof off.

It already has enough software to justify the purchase. If it stagnates enough? I'll crack it. It's the biggest (only) bomb they've ever had, so this will be a test, but Sony has always been the best at supporting their hardware for the long haul. Hope hope hope.

I think I played Uncharted GA more than 3. Really liked it, though the touch functionality becomes asinine so far as rubbings (Killzone's mix was better). I've barely touched a DS or 3DS, but this is the right mix so far as touch gameplay: just enough to break things up, even if it's tautological, giving games that implement it a better pace than they'd have without it.
« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2013, 2:06pm by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #307 on: Dec 27th, 2013, 04:21am »

Ninja Gaiden Sigma (screw italics, I'm on a phone), oh, right, PLUS made me think about game design's arguable degradation rather than its graduation. Not because the game is bad but because it's both great -- yes flawed -- and the video game version of a Mohican: extinct on game play grounds.

What I said about Uncharted 3 -- that it wasn't overly ambitious -- is a point I'd double don on after going back to Itagaki's action standard. As a PRODUCTION, thus a series of set pieces, Uncharted is one of the best series in the industry. But that's also its biggest flaw as a game play model: it wants to grab people as an interactive tour rather than as a skill set challenge.

Compounded by the fact that it's nothing more than serial cliches. Instead of an answer to Tomb Raider, it's the video game Indiana Jones.

As a narrative argument, it feels unjustified. It's challenge is pared back because the series is conceptualized as scope over function on game play, yet the narrative applied is perfunctory nostalgia for George Lucas' nostalgia for 40s serials, Treasure of the Sierra Madre (if only! Max Payne 3 is the closest I've played) and a forgotten Charlton Heston movie.

It does make me feel interested in The Last of Us, because its narrative conceit is, at least, implied as more through tone.

But as design package? It comes across as less than the sum of its parts because it tries desperately to blur the edges at all: like so many games, it wants to be movie, ending up as an, at times, on-rail game that almost plays itself.

And yet, I like it.

There's something sad about the sanitized conceits that come with better technology: instead of pushing the mediums boundaries on interactivity, interactivity is lessened to make games closer to PS1/3DO cut scenes in real time. Exciting...

Both sad and ironic, then, that the same studio that created Crash Bandicoot -- the original game a somewhat challenging platformer updated for early 3D -- no longer wants players to fail. Can't risk them missing the next set piece that leads to the next cut scene. But Crash Bandicoot 2's auto variable difficulty hinted at this in 1997, so nostalgia isn't something I actively want to pursue. The good old days were bad, the question is how much worse are things today?

Gaiden also contrasts favorably with the Arkham games, so far as the baseline of combat (I doubt Arkham exists without its influence, or that they would in nearly the same way). The combat -- Ai, therein general aggression -- is of lesser quality in both Arkham games I've played contrasted to the "first" (hi, NES) Gaiden. In Arkham, characters opponents largely follow dim action movie cliches: line up, wait your turn. This really comes out when seguing into a choke hold or grapple: the other NPCs stand and watch as you take apart one inmate. Contrast that to Gaiden, where the opponents crowd and corner unrelentingly: if you don't find the proper weapon, technique and timing/execution you could be dead before you either get a handle on the situation or recover from your mistake.

It's not friendly to the user, but that push toward better techniques depending on opponents and environment makes it the better action game. It rewards --angles become sharper, the need to simply react, to keep moving, is ever-present, and openings are reminiscent of 1:1 fighting games in a gangbrawl context -- by demanding skill.

It's a laughably bad narrative but it's a great, great game. It doesn't have larger narrative concerns and it doesn't have to protect a license, instead it just wants to punish you if you don't read and react well enough to break it.

I liked all the games mentioned. But the industry is getting to the point where there's very little room for diversity, and challenging, intensive games are now a minority without a political action committee. Extinction awaits, at least for AAA games like Itagaki's NG.
« Last Edit: Dec 27th, 2013, 04:23am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #308 on: Jan 24th, 2014, 07:34am »

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-13-why-xbox-failed-in-japan

Interesting article. Bit long. Jumping around is recommended.

It does strike me that as much as the Americans were culturally out of their depth, by the end of the article -- with the added gift of being here, now -- we can see that the xenophobia of the Japanese was their downfall in the industry. Mirror, mirror. The blinkered complaints about how Microsoft didn't cross ever 't' and dot every 'i' in a Japanese cultural context -- how much does "gaijin!" sound like ""shegetz!" -- plays out as an assumption of their own importance to the industry, one that was greatly overestimated.

We saw it with Sega, now we're seeing it with Nintendo: the inability to work as global companies, rather than Japanese-supremacist small businesses.

Microsoft was never going to win the Japanese. I don't automatically disagree with them: a nationalist and protectionist mindset is fine, but pretending that you can ignore the tastes of the two biggest markets in the world while remaining a global force is a ridiculous, disconnected strategy.

The funniest part is that, no matter their mistakes, it's been Microsoft (re)defining the industry. Killing XBox in Japan was an amazing success for the Japanese. But in so doing, they also tried to ignore it as wider market paradigm, directly leading to their loss of relevance in the rest of the world.

Consoles as set top boxes and online pivot points was the Microsoft Vision, now it's the reality for both major console makers. And the x86 is utterly Western, pushed by the XBox's chipset, a PC chipset; now it too is the industry standard, allowing the market takeover by Western devs in a way not seen since the early 80s.

Still, the question remains as to how successful it's actually been in Microsoft's Grand Scheme. If, they were looking to upend the market, in an odd way the XBox brand was far more disruptive than the Wii.
« Last Edit: Jan 24th, 2014, 07:39am by Will » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #309 on: Feb 10th, 2014, 09:22am »

Been a while since my last update- I got a new computer and lost all my bookmarks, but that will change.

Anyways, I bought the original Xbox on day one for Halo and Oddworld, the Xbox 360 for Perfect Dark and promises of Halo 3.... and I bought a PS4 this time.

Microsoft seems like they quit giving a shit about exclusives that weren't Halo or Gears over the past few years, and frankly, Halo 4 and Gears 3/4 weren't good enough to make me want to invest into a new Xbox. On the other hand, it felt like Sony was just shitting out new ideas every other week with Journey, The Last of Us, Beyond, etc. I had pretty much made my choice after Microsoft's E3 2012. However, if Microsoft makes some good exclusives, Ill definitely pick up a One to play those games.

Anyways, I love my PS4. The UI is fast, installing games is a breeze, switching between apps and games takes little time, and the share feature is rad. Im very excited for Infamous and what other Sony first party titles come out, especially from Media Molecule and Naughty Dog.

Over the past few months Ive gone through:
Batman Arkham Origins
Tearaway
Super Mario 3D World
Bioshock Infinite
Saints Row IV
Metro Last Light
Killzone Shadow Fall
Remember Me
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Devil May Cry
The Last of Us
Grant Theft Auto V
Brothers

Of the bunch, I think I enjoyed Tearaway the most. What a happy game.

Arkham Origins is wayyy underrated. Although it isn't as good as AC or AA, I thought it was still fun on its own terms.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #310 on: Feb 10th, 2014, 09:31am »

on Jan 24th, 2014, 07:34am, Will wrote:
Microsoft was never going to win the Japanese. I don't automatically disagree with them: a nationalist and protectionist mindset is fine, but pretending that you can ignore the tastes of the two biggest markets in the world while remaining a global force is a ridiculous, disconnected strategy.


Well isn't that kind of why the Xbox One reveal screwed them in the global marketplace? DRM fiasco aside, they really only showed off American appeal- TV functionality based off America cable companies, a tie in with the NFL, etc.
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xx Re: The Video Games Thread
« Reply #311 on: Feb 10th, 2014, 6:15pm »

I've been playing the shit out of GTA online. Lots of great, mindless action - and even more fun that I get to take it all out on other people.
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« Reply #312 on: Feb 11th, 2014, 2:10pm »

I thought GTAV was good, but the rushed storyline really soured me on the experience. My reaction was, "I would've preferred you guys spent more time on getting the main missions right instead of giving us golf minigames."
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« Reply #313 on: Feb 11th, 2014, 3:32pm »

To be honest, I've not even played the stand-alone game - just online. Ladyfriend got me Arkham Origins on the same day and I've not even opened it. Also got Young Justice (playable Nightwing) for Xmas and haven't opened it.
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« Reply #314 on: Feb 11th, 2014, 5:27pm »

Arkham Origins is pretty good, and Im sure you'll dig it just for how they take on the whole "Arkham Batman Begins" thing. It doesn't break new ground or anything, so if you're expecting a Asylum to City evolution, you'll be disappointed. But on its own terms, it does a lot of stuff right. The combat has a faster pace to it, boss fights are way improved, and detective mode requires a bit more thinking. I found the story to be the best in the series, and the mixture of Asylum's fantasy with Nolan's realism was pretty cool. Seeing criminals freak out with "THE BAT IS REAL!??" and fighting corrupt cops made me have a small geekasm.

Also, PC graphics are the bestest for this game.
« Last Edit: Feb 11th, 2014, 5:38pm by Clerk » User IP Logged

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