Sunday, November 20, 2011

Odds and Ends

Here's the deal. I don't have enough material for a single topic so I decided to make a post that includes several subjects that have been on my mind recently that I'd like to touch on briefly in turn. I might expand on the three following points at a later date, but for now this is all I got.

First, why am I seeing so many comparisons between Dark Souls and Skyrim recently? Not only did the games come out a full month apart (more than that if you count the Japanese release date), but they're not even in the same league. Yes, you can say they’re both fantasy/action RPGs, but beyond that design philosophy they couldn’t be further apart and more importantly there is a huge difference in resource allocation. Dark Souls was made by a team of 40 people in a period of two years. Skyrim was made by 90+ individuals over a five year development cycle. I might be tempted to say "apples and oranges" but I think a more fitting analogy would be "wine vineyard and cattle ranch."

Second, why are there so many games coming out now that have to be online all the time in order to be played? I can understand MMORPGs, but Diablo III? Or how about pretty much every game sold on EA's new Origin online store. Banning issues aside, the Internet and it's library of websites aren't all that reliable when it comes to access. Just last night I tried to log into PSN and found that I couldn't because of the reoccurring "80710B23" error having to do with Sony servers. Luckily for me I can play offline, but I would have been pretty pissed had that not been the case. Seriously fellow gamers…don't buy games that require you to always be online unless you like being aggravated.

Third, why aren't motion controls going anywhere? By that I mean they are neither becoming a prominent feature in the case of Sony Move, nor are they going away when it comes to Kinect or Wii Motion Plus. If they pushed it into the background I can understand such as making it optional, but Zelda: Skyward Sword has made the Wii remote mandatory and it looks like Wii-U will have similar requirements. Alternatively Kinect could be used in a supporting role, but as of this moment I've only heard of one game, the sequel to Steel Battalion, that is capitalizing on this idea. Maybe the reason is developers have yet to hammer out the kinks...then again half a decade seems like enough time to start producing some quality titles other than in-house Nintendo productions and dance/rhythm games. Needless to say if 3D integration is going to be the same deal then I'm not looking forward to it very much either.

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