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Old 12-25-2003, 08:40 AM   #41
Kain
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Quote:
Originally posted by Excelsion
I just need to add one more major disappointment.

- Gamespots choice to make some GC game 'Game of the Year 2003'. They made The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker game of the year. What is this world coming to?
No...NO!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:24 AM   #42
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Legend of Zelda:The Wind Waker was a very good game IMHO.
The Sims is fun, but EA Games squelches the franchise for everything it's worth...like grape jam...

I thought Enter the Matrix was fun, until you beat it and did the hacking program(which I am proud to say I did all on my own ), then it just got pretty tiring(SP?).

And to all of you people bitchin about games with bad graphics, you guys are really odd. All that matters to me is the gameplay


Also, in all this time that Galaxies has been out, they finally got their first Jedi. Someone unlocked the force for their character.
(read in recent Game Informer)

My two cents...NOW WHERES MY LEPRECHAUN


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Old 01-01-2004, 01:36 PM   #43
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Originally posted by IG-64
Never heard of it
Never heard of Neverwinter Nights? It is a pretty popular RPG for PC (& Mac & Linux) which came out for PC in 2002, and Mac/Linux in 2003.

It has had two official expansion packs - Shadows of Undrentide this summer, and Hordes of the Underdark came out (in the US) on December 2nd. HotU lets you *start* at level 15.

Fun stuff.

Mike


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Old 01-01-2004, 02:08 PM   #44
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Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb: 2/3 of this game were GREAT! Amazing, if a wee bit too inspired by Tomb Raider. BUT: The last couple of levels sucked! They were such a pain in the ass, and totally unlike anything that went before (it became more like a Mario game) that I pretty much gave up without ever finishing it... I was so bummed out...

Freelancer: No joystick control for a space flight sim? WTF?!? It might have been an OK game otherwise, (though no Freespace.) Enough said about that...

KOTOR: Amazing game,.. but "turn-based" combat in a video game still bites.

Halo (PC): Good,.. but not really up to all the hype,.. and a lot of the levels were SOOOO repetitive that it started to feel like an endurance test.


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Old 01-01-2004, 02:16 PM   #45
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1. Half-Life 2 delayed.
I'm about to kill someone if I don't get to play this game soon! ARGGHHHH!!!

2. KotOR bugs.
Ok, the game is seriously awesome, and is my favourite game of 2003 by far, but the bugs are pissing me off.

3. JA dark/light ending.
Same thing, just more enemies. Very dissapointing.

4. Still no Duke Nukem Forever.
See ^Half-Life 2^.

5. The continued Xbox bashing.
Why does everyone keep bashing the Xbox? I simply don't understand it. It's an awesome console and we have loads of great games to come in 2004. GO XBOX!


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Old 01-01-2004, 04:47 PM   #46
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Jedi Academy; poor acting; 1 new weapon; ridiculous storyline; slow paced; lazy level design; 3 seige maps,
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:22 PM   #47
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Oooh...another thread to rant in. Er...hmmm...been doing too much of that lately, but I'll bite anyway...

1. The 'streamlining' and 'shortening' of games.

First of all, the arguments of other people on the net has finally managed to convince me that this doesn't necessarily have much to do with consoles at all. Many people perceive it as 'dumbing down to fit the console', but I no longer think that argument is valid. Look at games like Knights Of The Old Republic. Has anyone really, seriously claimed that it was 'dumbed down'? Of course, the interface was optimised for both platforms on which it was released - which is as it should be - but in terms of game depth and even interface depth, it outshines a lot of PC only game developments in recent years.

Of course the console has limitations - limited number of buttons, limited memory, etc., but there are ways to work around these obstacles. You can produce relatively large levels. You can have complex interfaces, and depth to gameplay. So there must be another reason why this is happening that is not entirely related to console limitations. I think it is partly down to perceptions of publishers - that they actually view the console market as being 'dumbed down', and thereby force developers to make products that match such thinking.

The argument for shortening games is usually that they want the maximum number of purchasers to complete a title - apparently not many people are willing (or perhaps able) to finish a game that might take 30-40 hours. We're told this...but I've never seen any actual proof of this claim. No statistics. Perhaps this is the case...I don't know. However, does that production of longer games should cease entirely? I think not. I prefer a longer game to a short one. I consider an average game length to be about 25 hours. 5-10 hours is simply far too short, and usually ends up heavily scripted and very linear to boot - which may lead to an intense game experience, but for me it's over before I can properly get my teeth into it.

This kind of mentality is driving games to become less than they could be. Their potential is being stifled. Less is not more. Stripping out features, gameplay elements, and formulas that you enjoyed in previous games is not 'innovation' but regression, which will eventually lead to stagnation.

Cross-platform development can work, if executed properly, and that means taking into consideration each individual platform and optimising the game (including it's control and interface systems) to make them platform-centric. The modern PC is usually a more powerful system than a console, and so games should play to it's strengths. The game may be the same on different platforms - but on a PC, for example, it should have higher res textures, more details, more seamless levels (if possible).

I just feel like giving a large part of the gaming industry a kick up the backside, a wake up call, and make them chant 'Less is NOT more' a hundred times a day. A sequel should build on the strengths of it's predecessor - and it should address the weaknesses. This is not accomplished by removing game features altogether. Deus Ex: Invisible War may be my key disappointment in this regard this year - but by no means the only title. Unreal 2 was also a huge disappointment as a sequel - and I cannot imagine what possessed Monolith to deliver up Contract J.A.C.K. Jedi Academy and Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna seem like masterworks in comparison.

At a time when the average age of gamers is actually rising - I'd quote statistics if I could find them, but I know I've read it a few times in different places - and their expectations based on previous games is increasing, it seems almost ludicrous the route that some of the publisher/development houses are taking. Some of them seem to be trying to take niche market products into the mainstream, and they do this by 'simplifying' or even 'quakifying' them, if you like. Regurgitated sports titles always seem to sell a great deal...but games like NOLF and Deus Ex didn't sell anywhere near as well, in spite of critical acclaim. Yet by trying to make these franchises more 'mainstream' the resulting sequels/expansions become something far less than their predecessors. Leave us with the niche markets, so those looking for long and complex games can still have their fill from the gaming cup.

2. Bugs in games.

No game will ever be perfect these days. As more factors are introduced, more things are likely to go wrong. As more hardware and associated drivers become available, compatibility obviously becomes more difficult, unless you are designing solely for consoles. However, these things aside - why are so many games released with 'show-stopping' bugs? DX:IW is probably the worst culprit I've seen released this year that suffers from show-stopping bugs. Random crashes to desktop, falling through the maps into oblivion, infolink messages that sometimes don't shut off, and prevent you from going to the next level - these are not minor bugs, and you have to start asking what the QA team was actually doing.

I won't expect bug free products in future - that would be unrealistic - but major flaws should never get past a rigorous testing program, and I think a greater emphasis needs to be placed on Quality Assurance in the future. It's no fun having to download or wait for a 30Mb+ patch just to get your game working, and it should no longer be acceptable. Part of the blame has to lie with the engine providers - there should be more safeguards and robust code built into the underlying engine to prevent the possibility of 'falling through scenery' etc. Most of the blame lies with the developers and QA departments, however. Products should be optimised for their intended platform, and given a thorough play-testing from start to finish several times over by 'reckless' gamers to ensure stability. By reckless gamers, I mean those who will try anything in a game world - those who actively seek to find ways to break a game, to climb out of the maps, etc.

3. Game balance and decisions.

Some titles have been released in recent years that have had considerable promise during development, only to prove disappointing on release. The demos have flagged up flaws in the execution of certain elements - not bugs, but conscious design decisions that sometimes seem strange or downright silly. DX:IW suffered from quite a few of these...but so did other games like Chrome and New World Order. Games that mess too much with basic things like the feel of movement (New World Order), or give enemies unrealistic marksmanship (100% accuracy in Chrome). Things like Unified Ammo in DX:IW...well, it's going back to the days of Wolfenstein 3D.

So I wish some developers would simply take a large step back sometimes, and take a good, hard, long look at how their games are actually performing, and whether some of those decisions are actually assisting gameplay. If they're just trying to be 'different', then in my book that's not a good enough excuse. If I can play a game that has solid movement and control in the game world, and feels right, why do some other games fly in the face of this and either make it too complicated, or make it feel out of synch with you, as the player? Walking in Unreal 2 felt like inching your way forward, any kind of movement in New World Order (I only tried trhe demo) just felt jerky and weird, and other games give you a 'floaty' feel. I just wish there were some kind of common standards that could be applied. I mean...if you can't get the basics right, then what hope is there for the rest of the game?

****

I could go on to list disappointing games, etc., but I've already touched on some, and the issues I discussed are my main gripes with the industry as a whole at the moment.

I just hope that things will improve in 2004.
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Old 01-03-2004, 01:58 AM   #48
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1. Mary Kate and Ashley: Double Date. No bikini contests, whats up with that.

2. Full Throttle 2. CANCELED. Whats up with that, ive been waiting for a sequel for like 7 years now, even longer i think. And the dude at LUcas Arts says, o woops we screwed up. Sorry for the inconvenience. I mean geez, they can make powerpuff girls games but no Full Throttle 2. Its a travesty people, lets rebel. .

And im really tired and hungry, so i can think of anymore, for the time.

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Old 01-05-2004, 12:18 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by leXX
1. Half-Life 2 delayed.
I'm about to kill someone if I don't get to play this game soon! ARGGHHHH!!!
... that's funny, I don't think of myself as *too* cynical, but I see HL2 as the PR move #1 of 2003.

Quote:
4. Still no Duke Nukem Forever.
See ^Half-Life 2^.
As I recall each year at this time - my wife 'pre-ordered' Duke Nukem Forever and ObiWan for PC four years ago. She was thrilled - I'm such a pain to buy for, and to have $100 well spent so early ... but then ...
Quote:
5. The continued Xbox bashing.
Why does everyone keep bashing the Xbox? I simply don't understand it. It's an awesome console and we have loads of great games to come in 2004. GO XBOX!
I see a few things personally:
- As a gamer, I don't dislike the XBox. Great system, great games, great for console players.
- As a parent of young kids, I try to manage their gaming time productively. Santa brought a GameCube this year, which has tons of good kids and family games. In terms of young kids, I see the XBox about as productive as the Playboy channel ... just inappropriate. Doesn't mean inappropriate for everyone, just something I don't want in my house.
- As a PC gamer, I see the XBox in direct competition with the PC for titles and developer mind-share. Halo is the infamous example. For this year I look at DX:IW and XIII as two games whose PC versions show heavy non-PC influence. Is any of this the fault of the XBox? No.

Mike


Dopelar effect (n.) The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:23 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by StormHammer
Oooh...another thread to rant in. Er...hmmm...been doing too much of that lately, but I'll bite anyway...
I was hoping you would

I have to re-reread and then reply. Nice post ... glad to see we still agree on so much in 2004

Mike


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Old 01-05-2004, 01:57 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by txa1265
... that's funny, I don't think of myself as *too* cynical, but I see HL2 as the PR move #1 of 2003.
I don't quite understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that you think the leaked source code was just a PR move and stunt and the developers staged it? I think Half-Life 2 had enough publicity from the get go as it is and doesn't need a stunt to boost interest in it.


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Old 01-05-2004, 02:11 PM   #52
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I think the biggest disappointment of 2003 was...

Doom 3 being even further delayed.

Yes, I know how everyone is looking forward to HL2, I am too. There are a million other games people would prefer to see, but not me. The fact is, no-body, and I mean - literally - no-body makes game engines like Carmack. For all of HL2's fancy features, visually, Doom 3 owns it. The atmosphere you can see just from one Doom 3 screenshot is incredible, and the movies equally so. Because it has been delayed, it means we have to wait even longer for the Doom 3 engine licensed games to start coming - something we desperately need. I mean, right up until last month games were being released using modified versions of the Quake 3 engine. And, I think, the truth is no engine will truly grab the market until Doom 3 is released. It is testament enough to Carmack and the rest of id software that Quake 3 has been going for this long - released in 1999, and it's still going in 2004. That is one hell of an achievement. I can see the Doom 3 engine pulling a similar stunt, and Doom 3 itself looks like a damn fine game to boot. People have the misconception it's just going to be a mindless shooter - read the previews, you'll be pleasantly surprised

Roll on Doom 3, and roll on the licensed games Jedi Knight 3 anyone?



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Old 01-05-2004, 03:03 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by StormHammer
1. The 'streamlining' and 'shortening' of games.
'this doesn't necessarily have much to do with consoles at all.'
Consoles, even if I'm not a big fan, get undue blame for what's wrong with the PC game industry. I know this is a poor analogy, but it is somewhat akin to the music industry blaming downloaders for all of its' ills. I think I've made my fairly black & white views on piracy well enough known, but the music industry has no one to blame but themselves for most of what is wrong. And the same is true for PC Gaming.

Quote:
The argument for shortening games is usually that they want the maximum number of purchasers to complete a title - apparently not many people are willing (or perhaps able) to finish a game that might take 30-40 hours. We're told this...but I've never seen any actual proof of this claim. No statistics. Perhaps this is the case...I don't know.
There was something in one of the many Jedi Academy interview articles, with Brett Tosti, possibly. It talked about how they had a lot of feedback that JKII was too hard and too difficult to finish. Personally, I think that making games shorter and easier, replacing options with cutscenes and 'cue-scenes' (like JA's Hoth area where you hit a switch and the cutscene shows you the door you opened) is just wrong.

My recommendation is to better 'tier' the difficulty levels. Instead of just spawning more enemies who are harder to kill and giving you less health, try making it so that the 'easy' level guides you (e.g. cue-scenes), gives you more feedback, and in general helps you through the game more. Normal would leave much more up to you and make things harder. Hard level would make you find your own way, provide many blind paths and ambush points and so on ... with rewards, of course. And, for RPG-lite games, easy would be cookie cutter development, no customization, normal would give some options, and hard would leave it all up to you.

Quote:
However, does that production of longer games should cease entirely? I think not. I prefer a longer game to a short one. I consider an average game length to be about 25 hours. 5-10 hours is simply far too short, and usually ends up heavily scripted and very linear to boot - which may lead to an intense game experience, but for me it's over before I can properly get my teeth into it.
I would consider >12 hours to be an acceptable minimum for a basic shooter with minimal plot. So just about everything is a failure by that standard. Really, 8 hours for MoHAA shows a game that just gets started and then ends abruptly. But now that is considered an acceptable length.

Any 'advanced plot' game (i.e. you have a chance of remembering the character's name and influencing behaviour) should be no less than 20 hours. That gives you some time to enjoy the game and time to develop the character's persona.

Quote:
Less is not more.
Repeat after me. Less is not more. Simple does not equal streamlined any more than complex equals powerful. Quantity is not quality, you need adequate quantity executed with high quality.

Quote:
A sequel should build on the strengths of it's predecessor - and it should address the weaknesses. This is not accomplished by removing game features altogether.
They have pi$$ed on two of the best games ever - Deus Ex and NOLF (1&2). Some consider JKII poor compared to JK1 ... but as you say, compared to some of the dire sequels out there JKII and JA are masterpieces.

Quote:
At a time when the average age of gamers is actually rising... Leave us with the niche markets, so those looking for long and complex games can still have their fill from the gaming cup.
Yes the average age is rising, I've seen the studies as well. But look at your local game store. PC games are fighting for shrinking shelf space. That makes things tough for developers. Someone said in a year end review that there are too many games being made. I agree - cut the quantity, spread the resources and ... look at the triangle and see what happens to quality Yeah ... I wish ... what we'll really get is a bright & shiny new MoH game this month that has a wonderful checklist of 'features' like ragdoll, high-poly models, yet lasts ~8 hours and has no plot and is very linear ... at least the AI is improving in some of these games ...

Quote:
2. Bugs in games.
I see two problems:
- System compatibility issues: with increasing hardware complexity and driver specific optimizations, these will likely get harder to suss out for developers, rather than easier. Like some people have major KotOR issues, and I've never had a single crash.
- Game bugs: the project management triangle includes quality, time and resources. It also assumes a fixed goal. Given that game scope is subject to high profile whims, and that the resources and time are under close scrutiny ... only one variable left.

Quote:
3. Game balance and decisions.
I see this as linked somewhat to 'streamlining' games. Bad decisions made in the 'best interest of gamers'. Don't put in realism for its' own sake by making a guy run at normal human speeds when he can jump 15 feet in the air, carry 6000 pounds of weaponry and is facing spider demons from another galaxy ... play the game. If it feels like crap playing it, get rid of it. It is like the 'lens flare' award for poorly implemented 'bright and shiny' new technology, like ragdoll, or realistic movements or ... whatever stupid new idea they have next ...

Quote:
I just hope that things will improve in 2004.
Amen to that ... I know I'll be smarter about my purchases. I figure I wasted ~$100 on games I wish I never bought, and saved ~$150 by either playing bad demos or just waiting.

Mike


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Old 01-05-2004, 03:18 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by leXX
I don't quite understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that you think the leaked source code was just a PR move and stunt and the developers staged it? I think Half-Life 2 had enough publicity from the get go as it is and doesn't need a stunt to boost interest in it.
HL1 got a lot of grief about being much delayed. HL2 devs were making all of these claims about hitting the date. Right up until the week before. Then it became obvious they weren't close to ready. Valve and Vivendi were in public disagreement about release dates, there was some public sniping, but people were still so ga-ga over the rehashed E3 videos they forgave it all. But just as some more critical articles and observations start to surface, all of a sudden the source code is stolen, and the game's release is pushed out 6 months. Everything seems a little convenient to my mind.

Again, I hope I'm just being cynical. I like the look of HL2, and very much look forward to it. I don't know what to want - the game world to have been so badly manipulated, or hard-working developers having their hard work trashed and having to go way back into the process again.

I look at the comparative stories of HL2 and Doom3. HL2 has stayed at the front page of gaming news consistently since May. Doom3 has come and gone, but never been top news since HL2 was announced. Doom3 is yet another delayed game, HL2 is a game delayed by malicious outsiders and has the sympathy of the industry and gamers everywhere, myself included. There's just a little voice inside of me ...

Mike


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Old 01-05-2004, 03:28 PM   #55
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Hmmm, it could be an excuse for delay I suppose, but why would the devs give out some of thier code early? Surely that's a huge step back in the wrong direction. There are loads of other excuses they could come up with. That's what stops me thinking it's all just a PR stunt.


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Old 01-05-2004, 03:32 PM   #56
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Why hasn't War of the Ring been listed? That was a dissapointment to me...
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