May 24, 2013

Please Delay Saints Row 4

Two Sandbox games being released 3 weeks apart is overkill. Here's an example. I started playing Dishonored late last year. I was enjoying Dishonored immensely until I started playing Hitman Absolution a week later. Playing two stealth action adventures games at the same time ruined it for both games. Hitman felt too much like Dishonored, and Dishonored wasn't fun anymore. I stopped playing both games as a result. I'd hate to have that happen to Saints Row 4, & Grand Theft Auto 5.

Sandbox games need time to breathe. There's no way a sandbox game can be completely explored in 3 weeks. There's just too much to explore. A Late August Release for Saints Row 4 makes no sense. Saints Row has been established itself as a Blockbuster Series. It was that sleeper hit that the month of August when the first Saints Row was released, but now Saints Row is a blockbuster franchise. Blockbusters belong in the Holiday Season. A late October/Early November release makes the most sense for Saints Row 4.

Late October would give gamers a good month with Grand Theft Auto 5. We all must remember, Grand Theft Auto is the biggest series in videogames. The quality, and money behind this game requires at least a month of attention from the gamers. A late October release gives Saints Row 4 enough time for a good Black Friday sale price. I'd definitely buy Saints Row 4 for 29.99 on Black Friday to help me get off of Grand Theft Auto.

That's the thing. Saints Row helps me get off of Grand Theft Auto. Grand Theft Auto IV was my heroin, and Saints Row 2 was the methadone that got me off of it. The six month gap I had between GTA & Saints Row was enough time for me to get lost in Liberty City. I was so hooked to Grand Theft Auto IV, I probably still know my way thru Liberty City. Street Names and everything. I used to wake up craving to play Grand Theft Auto IV until Saints Row 2 showed up. I absolutely hope to become this hooked to Grand Theft Auto 5. I just hope Saints Row 4 is released after it to help me get off of that shit.

May 21, 2013

Xbox One: The Future For Casual Gamers?

Microsoft played it safe during their Xbox Reveal earlier today. Microsoft decided to do the things Sony did not do during their PS4 Reveal a few months ago. The first thing Microsoft did differently was actually revealing the console. The Xbox One is the next generation from the Xbox Family. It looks a bit bulky especially when I compare it to my Slim PS3. The controller looks cool, but no touch screen in the middle like the PS4 controller. All in all the Xbox One looks like a VCR with a lot of power under the hood.

Microsoft made sure to show off the power of the Xbox One. Not by showcasing games like Sony did, but by giving you the specs of the machine. 8 GB of RAM, a blu ray drive. A billion blahs, 300,000 other blahs.
Honestly the tech specs mean nothing to me. I have to see witness the power of the Xbox One by playing a videogame to really get an understanding of it. When the graphics look better and the game run smoother than the Xbox 360 is when I get impressed by all of those fancy processors and stuff under the hood.

As far as games being displayed. Not much in that department for this reveal. EA Sports came out and showcased a bunch of sports games that come out every year. You gotta do better than that at E3 Microsoft. Everybody and their mama knows Madden is coming out on the Xbox One. No surprise there.

They also showcased a bunch of sports related stuff that I honestly have no interest in. I don't play sports games, and I'm not that much of a sports enthusiast to play fantasy sports on my xbox. A good 20 minutes of the hour long presentation was dedicated to sports. That's a serious misuse of time. I highly doubt the majority of people who tuned in gave a damn about playing the next Madden on their Xbox One. Which brings the question.

Who is Microsoft trying to appeal to?

While 20 minutes was spent on Sports, another 20 minutes was spent on Kinect. Kinect has casual gamer written all over it. The thing that bothers me about Kinect is that it becomes less about videogames everytime I see it. At least when it was first introduced, Microsoft tried to incorporate the hands free technology into videogames. Now they don't even try. They just show you the same voice command features every press conference. It's pathetic.

Microsoft always wastes a bulk of its press conferences showing off the Kinect. They display how to turn on your xbox with no hands. How to change channels with no hands. How to become a lazier human being by using your voice and hand motions to do everything. It wouldn't be as annoying if Microsoft didn't do it all the time, but ever since 2010 they show off the same Kinect features like nobody notices. Stop it Microsoft.

The highlight of the event was Snap Mode. This gives you the ability to multitask from one screen. You can watch a movie, and access Internet explorer from the same screen. In a world where we multitask more and more everyday, I like it. They didn't say if Snap Mode could be used while you're playing a videogame. If it can, that's hot and a reason for me to check out the Xbox One. 

The last 20 minutes was spent showcasing things in small doses. A small speech from Steven Spielberg revealing a Halo Television Series. I had no idea people played Halo for the story, but okay. There was one videogame on display by the creators of Alan Wake called Quantum Dream. The trailer for that was weird, and didn't really say much about the game. If anything the trailer showed off the water graphics that new consoles like to show off in early games. Oh and at the end of the press conference we got a trailer for the new Call of Duty. 

So to recap. Microsoft revealed the XBox One, showed off the same Kinect features, showed a few sports games, two exclusives, and the new Call of Duty. If I were a casual gamer, I'd be excited. Sony on the other hand showed game after game during their PS4 press conference. They were clearly going after hardcore gamers with the PS4 reveal. Microsoft on the other hand wants the Sports Gamers. The Gamers that faithfully buy the same games every year. I wasn't sold on the Xbox One after this reveal. Maybe their E3 press conference will help change my mind.