Bigredcoat

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Archive for the ‘Oh God No’ Category

DO NOT WANT: Bioshock 2

Posted by nfinit on January 16, 2010

Take 2 Interactive is has been holding the threat of a new Bioshock game over the gaming community for the past year and a half, and despite please for reason and requests for a list of demands, the company seems intent on foisting Bioshock 2 upon us three weeks from now.

The parts everyone loved about the original Bioshock were the parts that had absolutely nothing to do with being a videogame.  We fell in love with the sharp writing, were enamored by the original concept, engrossed in the singular, unique world that Bioshock inhabited.  In fact, when Bioshock tried to be a game instead of a stark object lesson in Objectivity and Libertarianism run amok, it was distressingly bad.  The combat was awkward.  The upgrade system unbalanced.  The fights with Big Daddies ranging from nerve-wracking engagements in sheer frustration to loot hunts in the blink of an eye.  The simply unforgivably awful final boss battle.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Bioshock.  It was my game of the year for ’07 and I’d gladly stand by that even given the benifit of hindsight.  But it straddled that Metal Gear Solid-esque line between enduring a potienitally awful videogame in return for experiencing a fantastic gaming environment better than anything even Kojima himself has ever produced.

Furthermore, Bioshock was allowed to finish it’s story.  There were no loose ends, no obvious hooks for a sequel, no halfway finished storylines that were left there purely to build a franchise around.  Instead, Ken Levine was allowed to tell his story.  Done.  No need to go back to Rapture…. provided, y’know, the game wasn’t enormously successful and a sequel was all but ordained by the market forces that drive the games industry.

So those of us enthralled with Bioshock 1 greeted the news of Bioshock 2 with more than a bit of trepadation, especially following so quickly on the heels of it’s prececessor.  And indeed, our worries quickly snowballed into what we’ve all pretty much agreed has become the Worst Possible Scenario.  Gone is the superb writing.  Ken Levine is nowhere to be found near Bioshock 2.  Gone is the unique and interesting world– It’s a decade later, and you’re back in Rapture.  The concept?  More Ayn Rand.

Bioshock 2’s focus?  The game.  That awful, awful videogame that wrapped up Bioshock’s world and made it presentable.  Worse yet, 2k Marin– a studio created expressly to exploit the Bioshock franchise (which is apparently a franchise now, -and- exploitable) is focusing on multiplayer.  Deathmatch Libertarianism.  This is not what any of us wanted.  Bioshock 2 isn’t just going to be awful, it’s going to be so awful that the original game’s repuation will suffer irreperable damage.

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Posted in Oh God No, Our Industry Is Awful | 3 Comments »

For your own good; redux.

Posted by nfinit on November 16, 2009

So remember back when Activision and their grovelling, hand-licking lackeys Infinity Ward announced that they were closing off private servers for all versions of Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2, making it impossible to play online on anything other than Activision’s own authorized servers?  Remember how we were told it was for our own good and that Activision’s only goal was to improve the player experience and how dare you concoct paranoid conspiracy theories involving paid content and the further console-ification of the PC market?  Sure you remember that, I spent like two weeks posting this picture:

(Not pictured: impoverished; weeping child begging for his guitar controller)

Well, knowing what Infinity Ward had done, and knowing how deliciously evil Activision is, what would you assume would be the worst possible outcome for this scenario?  Wait, don’t answer that– If you’re reading this I’m going to assume you’re the smart, savvy reader who already has some idea of the ultimate outcome of Activision’s fiendish mechanization.  Instead I’m going to ask the sort of slack-jawed, reefer-addled doofus that mainstream media has taught us represents gaming culture.  Hang on a second–

(Remind me to tell you all how Time Magazine allowed this guy to shit all over Shigero Myamoto. It was fantastic.)

Hey kids, it’s professional gamer Johnathan Wendel!

Alright, Mister Fatal1ty,  if we may begin by–

suuuuuuuup

Yeah, sup.  Johnathan, knowing what you know about Infinity Ward placing Call of Duty 6, Modern Warfare 2’s online component behind Activision’s own secure walls, what would you assume is the worst possible outcome Activision and Infinity Ward could then ultimately leverage this into?

Probably Activision using their immense pockets and PR skills to further justify the heartbreaking endemic of virgin rape currently ravaging Africa.

Okay.  Wow.  You’re much more savvy than I give you credit for, Johnathan Wendel.

Words hurt, you know.

Fair enough.  Okay, what’s the second worst possible thing to come about as a result of Activision making it impossible to play Call of Duty 6: Modern Warfare 2 on anything but Activision’s own severs?

Oh, that's easy. Activision charging money to play online for services that are traditionally free.

DING DING DING!

And there you have it.  We all suspected Activision would use the immense popularity of COD6:MW2 to shut out free maps and mods, but this is particularly brilliant– Activision plans on blending Call of Duty in with its other money cow, World of Warcraft, into a soul-crushing orgy of profit that EA, Ubisoft, THQ and Take 2 can only look on with lip-slavering envy.  Yea, for truly it the end of times, just buy a 360 already, yadda yadda.

So I guess maybe it's too late to talk you into buying a Zalman CNPS9700LED Fatal1ty FC-ZE1 Champ1on Series Gaming Tower?

Die in a fire, ratface


Posted in Oh God No, Our Industry Is Awful, Sperging about games | 3 Comments »

Still alive; Also The Sabotuer is gonna blow goats

Posted by nfinit on November 7, 2009

Hey kids.  Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but Unisys corp has seen fit to kick my ass up and down the island of Manhattan repairing broke-ass Dells for the past four days, so I’ve not had the energy to do a lot of updates.  No Bad Controller this week, but that’s alright as I was wanting to break that up a bit (as I”m going to run out of controllers soon) and introduce a new regular bit anyway.  So hopefully that’ll be out tomorrow.

Luckily for me though, Giant Bomb has provided easy content this week by exposing how incredibly lame Pandemic’s The Sabotuer is going to be, in the guise of a Quicklook that was, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, approved by and even played under the auspices of Pandemic…game… dude Corey Lewis.  Anyway, that’s here:

http://www.giantbomb.com/quick-look-ex-the-saboteur/17-1597/

Okay now maybe I had the wrong expectations going into The Saboteur, but I was under the impression that the game was to feature a hard-bitten Irish hero, an everyman who was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time and decided to help liberate Paris from the grip of the Nazi regime in a stealthy, covert manner.

Y’know.  As evidenced by the name The Saboteur. I was greatly looking forward to saboteur the hell out of shit.

Turns out instead The Saboteur is about a superhuman, near-invincible force of nature who’s been done wrong and is out to seek revenge by killing the said guy who did him wrong by blowing up an enemy army and anything that stands in his way.  And that sounds awesome!  However, it’s also pretty much the entire plot to Mercenaries 2, which, by the way, was Pandemic’s last game.

Turns out there’s not a bit of stealth involved, unless we’re to allow ourselves to believe that our surly Irish protagonist hero has managed to stealthfully engage in a full-blown firefight atop the Paris rooftops, stealthfully blew up a German howitzer sitting smack in the middle of the  Champs-Élysées, stealthfully blew up a zeppelin with a Panzerfaust, all the while absorbing more bullets than Clyde Darrow and engaging in a shootout with a dude with a rocket launcher.

Again, I wouldn’ t mind so much if the game presented in this video were the game Pandemic had been touting since E3, but it’s not.  Not in any way.  We were promised noir, what we’ve been given is Prototype.

While I’m on the subject, I’d like to take a moment to speak out about games that propose their protagonist is “just a guy”, someone the player can relate to, and then do absolutely nothing to mantain that illusion.  Hey, I like playing as superhuman badasses as much as the next guy; and liberties with such things as “willingness to murder at a moment’s notice” is something to be expected when you’re playing as Master Chief.

But The Saboteur, as I was to understand it, was supposed to be Just a Guy.  It’s hard to believe in the Just A Guy trope when your character is capable of scrambling over and around masonry walls like some kind of demented Irish Luchadore.  Also it’d be nice if just once your Just A Guy was as terrible with firearms as a normal person with no firearms training is supposed to be– Maybe that’d give you actual reason to be stealthy and covert and saboteur-y instead of choosing to do open battle with the Nazi army fifty feet above the streets of Paris.

Am I being overly critical?  Yeah, probably.  But that’s why I’m here.  The Saboteur promised to be a mix of Splinter Cell and the last half of Inglorious Basterds.  Instead we get this– and there’s nothing present in this video that hasn’t been done already in Mercenaries or Prototype or Infamous or GTA4 or a dozen other games I could rattle off.  Maybe Pandemic just isn’t capable of the sort of game they were trying to produce, but much like Mirror’s Edge a year ago, there’s a lot of promise being wasted here in a stylish shell.  And that’s too bad, because I desperately wanted to play the game Pandemic has been talking about for the past six months.

Posted in Oh God No, Sperging about games | Leave a Comment »

Gamerpocaylpse Now!

Posted by nfinit on October 20, 2009

If there’s one thing gamers can’t get enough of it’s creepy Deviantart pages dedicated to Sonic the Hedgehog characters!

If there’s two things gamers can’t get enough of, it’s hashing over what horrible imagined threats wish to strip our games away from us and force us to get real jobs and/or pay attention to our spouses. While most of these are irrational bogeyman, it’s an understandable reflex; our industry is composed of highly creative individuals whom we wish to support who happen to be managed by awful, awful people who are horribly ineffective businessmen and/or outright sociopaths. In addition, every time a new school shooting takes place we’re the first people the media want to blame, which leads me to question how William’s pinball division avoided a media firestorm when Charles Whitman climbed atop a bell tower in Austin, Texas.

But that’s for another day. For now let’s take a look at who’s currently trying to ruin our industry, and how they’re going about it, both from within and without and their odds for doing so:

Bobby Kotik

Title: CEO, Activision

Accomplishments: Reduced the Tony Hawk franchise to a flaming ruin, made Guitar Hero a tedious chore; urinated upon grave of Kurt Cobain; turned Infinity Ward into the most hated name in PC gaming; Ruined Blizzard, crushed creative spirit of all subordinates.

Method: All-consuming hatred; greed.

Synopsis: Bobby Kotik hates you and wants your money and has exploited this managerial philosophy to make Activision Blizzard the largest and most profitable videogame publisher in the world. Bobby Kotik cares not for the creative process or the idea of “games as art” or even for “games as reasonably price mediums of entertainment.”. He is possessed of nothing but contempt and greed, and you kinda have to respect that sort of singularity of vision.

Odds of Success: 1:10. Seething contempt and unlimited power are a powerful combination for success, something any student of Soviet Russia can attest. We are fortunate in that Activision has overstepped its bounds somewhat this console cycle, what with Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Band Hero and Tony Hawk Ride all selling for $120 each and their absurdly large boxes competing for shelf space inside the cramped confines of your local Wal-Mart electronics section this holiday season.

Peter Moore

Title: President; EA Sports

Accomplishments: Head of Sega of America, Corporate VP of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, destroyed Sega as we know it Worldwide five time Head That Most Resembles Creepy Alien Skull winner.

Method: Shifts focus of EA to digital distribution and PC hardware; Mastery of sinister telepathic powers.

Synopsis: Okay so maybe Peter Moore isn’t that much of a danger to the console world, but it was his recent speech at the PLAY Berkley Digital Media Conference that inspired this update, wherein he described the current console business model thusly:

“I’d say the core business model of video games is a burning platform”

Which would seem to indicate that EA doesn’t have a lot of faith in the way console games are currently sold. Which is all well and good, but you do also wonder if we’re going to make a shift to a download only retail model if there’s any real need for the console at all at that point and if we wouldn’t be better off just playing games on our computers– which is not something I necessarily disagree with, to be honest.

Odds of Success: 1:100. Let’s not forget, Peter Moore might be hugely successful, wealthy beyond all reason and can dent the side panel of a ’74 Buick via headbutt, but this is also the guy who oversaw the Dreamcast launch in America and Sega’s subsequent departure from the console market. Also the disastrous launch of Microsoft’s first Xbox, wherein Microsoft managed to release a popular console that they did not own the rights to manufacture. Or the Xbox 360, a wildly successful console with a 57% failure rate. What I’m saying is, EA may well abandon the console retail market, but only to see every game downloaded also infest owner’s computers with child pornography and/or the code for Skynet.

David Jaffe

Title: Co-Founder, Eat Sleep Play Games; Creative Director, SCEA; Game Development Dude, leader of the Cult of the One Console Future

Accomplishments: Directed the Twisted Metal games; also the God of War games; berates interviewers; engaged in an unhealthy and destructive relationship with NeoGAF.

Method: Refuses to shut up about the One Console Future; excessive use of Quick Time Event elements in God of War.

Synopsis: David Jaffee and his legions at NeoGAF have hit upon the hellish idea of the One Console Future, the insane concept that it would be far preferable for there to only be one console and we’d like it very much to be a Sony console thank you very much
Odds of success: Even. Well, it’s going to happen eventually of course, but hopefully not until some point fifty years in the future where there’s one little company in Brazil dutifully producing Sega Genesis consoles. Other than that, Not Bloody Likely, as Jaffee and his proponents forget that we already did the one console thing twice over– the first time lead to the Crash of ’84, the second Nintendo was sued for anti-competitive business practices. Luckily as long as Jaffee remains tied to Sony he remains utterly harmless

OnLive

Title: Online distributed computing client; lousy controller

Accomplishments: Soaking up millions of venture capital; raising hopes to ultimately be dashed; allows Steve Perlman access to only the finest Columbian blow with which to snort off the asses of $1k/hour Japanese hookers; instantly erased any gaming community credulity built since the announcement of The Phantom; promises to rid Newegg of millions of dollars worth of USB v1.1 hub back stock.

Method: Dissolution of console games industry through use of secret internet alchemy that allows data packets to travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.

Synopsis: OnLive promises to rid gamers of the restrictive, DRM ridden, expensive console games industry with its own restrictive, proprietary games-to-rent system using games you’ll never own in physical or digital form. It aims to accomplish this feat by a system of distributed gaming cloud computing, where instead of sitting in front of a television attached to a gaming console, you’d sit in front of your PC, which is attached to a OnLive Router, which is attached to the Internet, which is attached to the OnLive server farm somewhere in Santa Clara, California, where the game would be played on a computer there instead, sent back through the internet to the router to your computer back to you. OnLive proposes to accomplish this feat through “secret optimization code” that may or may not involve ground unicorn horn and fresh pixie blood.

Odds of Success: 1:100,000. Games currently run at anywhere from 30-to-120 frames per second at HDTV resolutions. If OnLive had the sort of technology that allowed transfer of that much data at that sort of speed why in god’s name are they wasting this tech on Burnout Paradise? Even if this works, it’s instantly shut out of any ISP that institutes bandwidth caps and wholly removes gamers who do not have access to broadband speed. Although I’m sure OnLive also has a plan involving unmanned zeppelins and microwave beams to help these poor benighted folk.

Jack Thompson

Title: Lovable buffoon

Accomplishments: Through a series of comical misunderstandings obtained a license to practice law in the state of Florida; subsequently stripped of right to do so sometime shortly after

Method: Incessant legal filings; clowning around before the media; somehow hired to write state law for the state of Louisiana.

Synopsis: To be perfectly honest Jack Thompson, who was more or less a marginal threat to begin with has been largely neutered by the fact that he is now incapable of practicing law. His once formidable powers are now bent upon the destruction of Facebook, which he has sued for forty million dollars as well as his new quest; to seek bloody vengeance upon the entire judicial system of Florida.

Odds of Success: Nonexistent. Games legislation is advertising for Jack Thompson and he knows it. If gaming goes out of business, he goes out of business.

Barrack Obama

Title: US Senator; De Facto 44th President of the United States of America; Anti-Christ

Accomplishments: First African-American President, Appeared on cover of Amazing Spider-Man and Savage Dragon

Method: Use of executive powers to force gamers into slave labor camps

Synopsis: He’s on the record as saying parents need to force their children outside instead of sitting inside playing videogames– We can only assume this is to make it easier for government officials to round up the confused, winded gaming masses and force them into government-operated gulags. Also his daughters love the Wii, which itself is attempting to destroy gaming. Plus a significant portion of the populace is convinced he is the Son of Satan, so that might be a concern for some.

Odds of Success: 1: 100,000,000. Luckily there’s no way Obama gets to pass anti-gamer legislation without someone at the Huffington Post mis-hearing it as “anti-gay legislation” and thus subjecting the administration to three weeks worth of hyperbolic, knee-jerk blog commentary and the administration decides to meet everyone halfway by buying everyone in the nation a Nintendo Wii as long as they promise to buy a copy of Wii Fit.

Ghost of Jack Tramiel

Title: President; destroyer of Atari Computers; Hate-fueled Specter of Death

Accomplishments: Possible responsible for the Crash of ’84; Destruction of the US videogame industry; power from beyond the grave.

Method: Seething hatred for fun; vengeful ghost powers

Synopsis: More powerful than death than he was in life, the Ghost of Jack Tramiel seeks to finish the job he only began while still living: The utter destruction of the games industry. Driven by hatred and shockingly poor business acumen, his spirit lives on in every 360 Red Ring of Death, in every failed Wii disc drive, in every cracked DS screen hinge.

UPDATE: After further research it turns out that Jack Tramiel is inexplicably still alive. It remains unclear if this makes him more or less powerful than before or if perhaps he is a Litch, his shambling husk driven on by an all-consuming hatred for electronic media. If he is a litch, then no doubt his phylactery remains hidden in a place no one think to look or dare touch, most likely a Game.com or a copy of the Jaguar port of Primal Rage. As always, be vigilant and consult your local Romani for proper defense against undead.

Nintendo

Title: Leave Luck To Heaven (rough translation)

Accomplishments: Resurrection of the videogames industry immediately following the Crash of ’84 with the Famicom/NES; Third most valuable company in Japan; crushing the dreams of Ichiro Suzuki to one day play in a World Series game; murder of Gunpei Yokoi; ruined gaming; creation of the worst controller in the history of the world in the Nintendo 64.

Method: Continued success of the Wii; being Nintendo.

Synopsis: Founded by the Japanese Mafia to distribute gambling peripherals and to launder yen, Nintendo has built an empire of the family friendly racial caricature that is Mario Mario. Using this vast wealth Nintendo then produced the Wii and the DS, a two-pronged attack against good gaming that has proven enormously successful.

Odds of Success: It already happened! For fuck’s sake the top selling game of the console generation has been a minigame collection where gameplay largely consists of spastically waving your arms! It’s over! They won! I told you this would happen but none of you believed me! You maniacs! You blew it up! God damn you all to hell!

Sony

Title: Sony Corp; Sony Computer Entertainment; Sony Financial; Sony Pictures Classics; Sony Pictures Mobile; Sony Pictures Studio; Arista; Arista Nashville;
BNA Records; Columbia Records; Epic; Sony Music Japan; RCA; Sony Ericson Sony Group.
Accomplishments: one of the largest media conglomerates in the world; establishment of the Playstation brand; complete and total destruction of the Playstation brand

Method: Overpowering incompetence

Synopsis: Despite such confusing signals as a price drop to $299 for the PS3, Sony remains a potent force in the dissolution of the console gaming market– The PSP Go looks to wholly ruin any hope of digital distribution gaining hold in the console industry and their continued bungling of over twelve years of industry dominance and community good will remains an inspiration for such global luminaries of incompetence as General Motors; AIG and America Online.

Odds of success: 1 : 10,000. Although Sony’s continued efforts in destroying their good name and the good will of the gaming community are commendable; they remain hampered by their continued inability to sell games and thus extend their reach of soul-crushing incompetence to a wider market.

Microsoft

Title: Microsoft Corporation; The Black Ram of the Forest with a Thousand Ewe; Wife of the Not-To-Be-Named-One

Method: All-encompassing predatory evil; Red Ring of Death; silent dread; hard drive attachment that’s tantamount to goddamned highway robbery; Space Marines
Synopsis: Sinister, cynical, openly malevolent and greedy as all fuck, Microsoft has launched a full-on assault on the gaming industry by producing a games console that at once possesses the largest and most compelling game library while at the same time making it an utter fucking chore to actually participate in the hobby. Between their constant nickel-and-dime tactics via overcharging for online play, wifi access and any sort of data storage combined with 57% hardware fail rate they’ve done more to destroy the public’s trust in console gaming than any single entity.

Odds of success: 1 : 10,000. Despite Microsoft’s best intentions developers remain intent on producing games for the system.

****

Wow, so that went on way longer than I expected and I still never got to Bernie Stolar or Ubisoft or Micheal Pachter.

WALLET ABUSE WEDNESDAY NEXT~!

Posted in lolsony, Oh God No, Our Industry Is Awful, Sperging about games | 1 Comment »

Bad Controllers– Pelican Sucks Special Edition

Posted by nfinit on October 17, 2009

As long as consoles have had controller ports, there have been knockoff 3rd party gamepads.  Some of these have been improvements upon the original design:

This picture officially banned in seven US states as well as the entirety of Australia

This picture officially banned in seven US states as well as the entirety of Australia

Or a more recent example, the best Playstation controller ever made, Logitech’s sublime wireless PS2 controller:

So smooth, so supple, its probably what a girl feels like!

So smooth, so supple, it's probably what a girl feels like!

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.  No, I’m here because of shit like this:

Seventy dollar Gamestop exclusive or a five dollar controller decal?  You make the call!

Seventy dollar Gamestop exclusive or a five dollar controller decal? You make the call!

Unless you’re one of the insane, dedicated few willing to throw good money down to improve upon the perfectly functional controller that was sold with your system, the term “third party controller” most directly translates to “chinzy crap”, the sort of gaming peripheral even mainstream gamers feel awkward about buying and the hardcore only turn to as a last resort.  Maybe you’re putting together a used system for a nephew who doesn’t know any better.  This is the sort of thing that leads down this horrible road:

OH JESUS I THINK IT SAW ME

OH JESUS I THINK IT SAW ME

Maybe you found out that your fourth for Madden Night doesn’t own a PS2 and has no intention of buying a controller.  Then this could happen:

The front of this controller is fashioned from the hood of a 75 El Camino.  True story.

The front of this controller is fashioned from the hood of a '75 El Camino. True story.

Or maybe you’re just an awful human being

Choking hazard

Choking hazard

Either way, it’s rare to go into the process of buying a 3rd party controller and expecting a quality piece of kit out of the process.  Which is a shame, as there’s no need for most of these efforts to look and feel as cheap as they do.  It’s like these manufacturers go out of their way to make their product as regrettable a purchase as possible.  After all, there’s no good reason for something like this to exist

Terrible joke immediately following:

Warning: Insensitive joke immediately following this caption

Unless you’re specifically trying to embarrass someone in the process.  You’re telling me that at no point in the design process for this abomination that someone didn’t speak up and say “Hey, maybe it’s just me or does our controller look like it has Down’s Syndrome?”

As you’ve probably noticed, 3rd party controllers tend to share a lot of design cues.  Inexplicable rubber grips are a favorite

I'm almost positive I owned a Trapper Keeper with this exact image

Sadly horrible squid monster remains criminally underused in modern industrial design

"Horrible squid monster" remains criminally underused in modern industrial design

More rubber than a UCLA frat house

More rubber than a UCLA frat house

These moldings seem to exist entirely to peel off and leave a gummy residue that immediately makes the user regret ever holding the controller after about a week of use, provided they manage to last that long without first breaking apart in a cloud of polystyrene splinters.

Also popular is pasting the controller maker’s logo over the front of the gamepad, as nothing provides better advertisement for a shitty controller than a sticker the size of a baby’s head.

Quick, name Captain Americas favorite gamepad!

Quick, name Captain America's favorite gamepad!

This isnt hip!  This isnt hip at all!

This isn't hip! This isn't hip at all!

The Microsoft Xbox, brought to you by Mad Catz!

The Microsoft Xbox, brought to you by Mad Catz!

Let us not forget the inexplicable presence of the Slowmo button, a relic from the 8 bit days that remains with us still.  They were of marginal use back when hitting “start” merely paused the game– now that hitting “start” usually brings up a menu screen, the slow-motion button is good way to wipe out your entire savegame file, or irreversibly turn your console’s translation setting to Swahili.  Hori is strangely dedicated to the idea of turbo and slo-mo switches, despite their otherwise sterling reputation as one of the few 3rd party controller manufacturers that actually go out of thier way to improve upon the original product.  For instance, Hori’s otherwise excellent 360 gamepad:

Hori deserves better than to be placed in the same page as Pelican

Hori: More proof that the Japanese are more awesome than you

You hit the wrong switch on this thing and you can wind up buying three thousand dollars worth of Netflix rentals before you regain control of your system.

Sometimes a bad controller can come about as a result of a company thinking they have a clever new idea that ultimately proves disastrous .  For instance, the Nyko AirFlo controller likely sounded like a good idea when it was being thrown around in committee– For whatever reason Nyko’s engineers (this is provided Nyko or any other third party controller vendor actually employs engineers) thought that hand sweat was a pressing issue for gamers, so they took a Dual Shock, gutted the rumble motors, carved just enough holes in what remained to provide some sibilance of structural rigidity and came up with this goddamned thing:

The T stands for Terrible waste of money

Something the Borg would use, if the Borg were lame and had an unreasonable fascination with surplus PC cooling fans

Which, I dunno.  Maybe the AirFlo was a good idea, but I never trusted the thing as it felt like it gripping it too hard would result in my palms being ripped to shreds by a pile of ABS plastic shards, like some sort of gaming stigmata.

Rarely, a company can go the extra mile and take a pre-existing bad controller– let’s say the godawful N64 pad– and through some horrible dark alchemy known only by the most potent necromancers– make it worse.

The Pelican logo isnt so much branding as it is a dire warning

The Pelican logo isn't so much branding as it is a dire warning

You have to admire Pelican’s dedication to it’s craft.  Here they’ve managed to combine the worst parts of the SNES and the N64 controllers into a pulsating green blob.  Pelican is remarkably good at this sort of thing, they’ve turned regretable controller purchases into something of a cottage industry.  Take for instance the “Wii Compatable Wired Game Pad”

“Classic retro design and feel”.  It’s a Gamecube pad!  This isn’t retro!  YOu can’t call something that was still in production two years ago retro!  You’re just trying to trick soccer moms into buying this thing for ten bucks instead of the Classic Wii controller.  And I do mean “trick”, as the ‘cube controller doesn’t work with a lot of stuff the Classic Wii controller was designed for.  It’s deceptive shit like this that just turns people off gaming altogether and you’d think Sony and Microsof and Nintendo would institute a bit of quality control and truth in advertising for their liscensed vendors.

___________

Hey, wasn’t this supposed to be the NES update?  Yes, it was!  However I would be doing Nintendo an injustice if I were to slag upon their company without my full creative abilities at my command.  So you got a cheap update full of pictures culled from Amazon instead.

Posted in Amazon is terrible, Bad Controllers, Oh God No | 3 Comments »

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Posted by nfinit on September 28, 2009

So now there’s this:

Just so we’re clear, that’s is not a joke. It’s something that’s actually happening. This, however, was a joke–

This was -also- a joke:

Watchmen sockpuppets in a 2d platformer?  Not a joke!  VIDEOGAMES~!

Which, y’know, just leads a person to question– if you’re a Watchmen fan, this sort of thing makes you nauseous, and if you’re not a Watchmen fan you hated the movie and won’t buy this anyway. So what’s the point in this, aside from driving Alan Moore into (another) heroine-induced stupor?

This is over and beyond the point that aside from a maybe a Phoenix Wright-style visual novel, there’s just no natural application for The Watchmen to videogames.  We tried this before and wound up with The End Is Nigh, an attempt to fuse late 70s Cold War paranoia and Final Fight, and it was about as awful as you could expect.  This needs to end before we wind up with Petz:  Bubastis or Silk Specter’s Fitness Ultimatium or Rorschach appearing in Smash Brothers.  Is it asking too much for the Industry to treat something like Watchmen with the same gravitas and dignity awarded ODST and Gears of War?

Posted in lolsony, Oh God No, Our Industry Is Awful | 3 Comments »

Amazon’s directed content algorithms prove accurate; depressing.

Posted by nfinit on September 27, 2009

Yeah that sounds about right.

I swear to god the next product to the right was a wolf moon t-shirt

I swear to god the next product to the right was a wolf moon t-shirt

Posted in Amazon is terrible, Oh God No | 1 Comment »