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Wobbo

Embarassing PC Gamer editorial

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Most hobbies' magazines are basically "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" between the publishers and the manufacturers. Its disgusting, but thats what you get in a society this rabidly capitalist and consumerist (not that I have anything against capitalism per se, but I think modern society has taken it too far).

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What are you seeing that I'm not? He describes how certain people blasted HL2, and list a major reason why, and that's about it.

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My friend bought PC Gamer the other day. I found no less than 4 mentions of Half-Life or Half-Life related stuffage on the front cover. There was plenty more inside. It should be renamed Half Life Gamer.

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Green Gates said:

rather than just new games.

Yes, because every issue should include all of the content from ALL THE PREVIOUS ISSUES.

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Dr. Zin said:

Most hobbies' magazines are basically "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" between the publishers and the manufacturers. Its disgusting, but thats what you get in a society this rabidly capitalist and consumerist (not that I have anything against capitalism per se, but I think modern society has taken it too far).

Just because you tend to disagree with their reviews, doesn't make what you just said the gospel truth. No two gamers will ever share identical opinions on every game, and so it only stands to reason you won't neccessarily agree with all reviews. If your tastes are considerably different than "the norm" (e.g. you hate both Doom 3 and Half-life 2), there's a large chance you will disagree with the majority of reviews.

Incidentally, in the latest issue of PC Zone UK, the highest rated game scored 87%, and this was Hearts of Iron II, a game published by a company I'd never even heard of before (Koch Media).

Only two other games scored in the 80's, EA Sports' Madden 2005 getting 84% and Lucasarts/Activion's Republic Commando scoring 80%. Some big games from some big publishers only recieved scores in the 70's, 60's, 50's, and a couple scored even lower than that:

Psi-Ops (Midway) - 77%
UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 (EA Sports) - 76%
Second Sight (Codemasters) - 68%
Spellforce: Shadow of the Phoenix (JoWooD) - 67%
The Settlers: Heritage of Kings (Ubisoft) 65%
The Incredibles (THQ) - 59%
Zoo Tycoon 2 (Microsoft) - 55%
The Moment of Silence (Digital Jesters) - 53%
Miami Vice (Davilex) - 13%
Alexander: the Heroes Hour (Deep Silver) - 12%

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I won't get into an argument over whether Half-Life 2 was the best release of 2004, because I haven't played any 2004 releases. Why is it getting so much attention, though? Games like Doom, the Mario series and Super Metroid were not only excellent when they were released, they remained the best in 2004 and probably will remain in that position for a long time to come. I won't pay attention to the industry until it figures out how to make great games again. Why should you?

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I don't know. Half-Life 2 isn't horrible, but I wouldn't say that it's any good either. One thing I do know is that it comes nowhere close to being "The best game EVER made" as it says on the box. It probably ranks at about 40 on my favorite games list (which, I guess.. makes it one of my least favorite games, then).

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What kind of game of the year only has a closed variety of enemies such as soldiers, zombies, crabs and large walkers anyhow, with sub-standard weapons like pistol, smg, shotty, rpg, etc.

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This editor argues that Steam shouldn't be factored in when rating HL2. That's like saying the total integration of Internet Explorer shouldn't be factored in when rating a version of Windows. Not like THAT affects what you can do with the OS or how much you can customize it to your liking. Lole, I heard the game is grate if you can get it to run, I give it an 11!!!!~

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Fredrik said:

(SNIP)they remained the best in 2004 and probably will remain in that position for a long time to come.

I believe the term "Game of the Year" is reserved for games that were released in the corresponding year for which they're nominated. I say this just in case you're not being a smartass.

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Arioch said:

Yes, because every issue should include all of the content from ALL THE PREVIOUS ISSUES.


I think you've missed the point.

In each issue, they would deal with a specific selection of games, both new and old, and take a look into any contributions or info or reviews or happenings in their community regarding that game. They would revisit a game from time to time, but only if there's anything new from it. And there probably would be from time to time, even if the game is old. Each issue would be a new and unique thing, rather than just reading the same old bloated comments of some overpaid asshole about overrated modern games like Halo 2 as a means of some of the magazine's mediocre mainstream routine.

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gargoylol said:

What kind of game of the year only has a closed variety of enemies such as soldiers, zombies, crabs and large walkers anyhow, with sub-standard weapons like pistol, smg, shotty, rpg, etc.

Doom 1 & 2?

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NiGHTMARE said:

Doom 1 & 2?


Well, the main difference is that Doom 1 & 2 were basically the games to start such a concept of enemies and weapons. For its time, it was considered very creative. But then, it's time to move on to other ideas. The problem here is that the original ideas of the roots that are the inspiration for so many of the video games set forth today are recycled over and over, hence rendering a majority of today's video games rather predictable before they even come out, and not always in an enjoyable manner (aside from graphics and engine). Yet somehow ripping off an already done a thousand times gaming concept and barely being innovative and incorporating a better graphics and engine into the game before changing its theme and changing wee bit features somehow seems to float the boat for the consumers, critics etc of these video game corporations' creations. Sad but true. Sometimes I wonder if some of the people who work for some of these sorts of game manufacturing corporations are selfishly aware of these things. Not that I'm implying that all modern games suck.

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Virtually without exception, in the last few years almost every FPS which has tried to be somehow innovative, has ended up selling far fewer copies than the latest "been there, done that" style FPS.

So if I were you, I'd think a bit more carefully about exactly who is to blame for the lack of innovation... :|

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NiGHTMARE said:

Virtually without exception, almost every FPS which has tried to be somehow innovative has ended up selling a lot less copies than the latest "been there, done that FPS".

So if I were you, I'd think a bit more carefully about who exactly is to blame for the lack of innovation... :|


But this couldn't possibly indicate that every video gaming corporation's vision is all about the money, could it?

But you have indeed raised some good points. Since many gaming corporations know that they wouldn't make much of a profit out of actually creating a new and adequately innovative game, they have no choice but to make yet another clone of the same old hat that's been done and re-done for years now.

Assuming that is the point you were trying to make.

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Software developers and publishers are the same as any company, in that they need money to ensure continued existence. So it isn't just about making a profit, it's also about not making a loss :).

And yes, there are gaming companies who've gone out of business due to lack of money. Look at Interplay, for example.

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This is why it's always so hard to start a decent corporation that is aimed at innovative products with a well-meaning ambition and inspiration along with many other dignitized ideas and visions, because the majority is always going twist it so that the only remaining options are to either continue and most likely die out or conform. This could very well be the reason as to why so many corporations are sellouts and lots of bands that now have terrible music once were the toast of the town (and yet strangely hadn't acquired as much popularity). Just my opinion, however, and very much a rambling.

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NiGHTMARE said:

Virtually without exception, in the last few years almost every FPS which has tried to be somehow innovative, has ended up selling far fewer copies than the latest "been there, done that" style FPS.


People fear change, what can I say?

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Not to defend the industry, because I've gone from playing every single FPS title released in the year to maybe two of them. Good job and congratulations for whoever company that made the one that I actually beat.

I'd like to know what the armchairs designers here would do with a capable team. Just write a little query or snippet, as if it was a small mention in a site about a game with a release date three years away.

I dare you people say something worthwile.

(i actually expect you to prove me wrong, I'd like a new generation of developers beat the jadedness out of me)

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NiGHTMARE said:

Doom 1 & 2?

Doom 2 sucks... but if there's one thing it has, is possibly the most colourful and unique cast of monsters in any game. Each monster is its own entity and has its own persona. No two monsters (excluding the Hell Knight) are even remotely similar. So many games now have you fighting "Random rocket/pistol/rifle soldier" or "Random spikey monster, random jumpy monster". Not alot of creativity in monster design anymore.

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Green Gates said:
Well, the main difference is that Doom 1 & 2 were basically the games to start such a concept of enemies and weapons. For its time, it was considered very creative. But then, it's time to move on to other ideas.

That's often more an issue for designers, since they need to find a new niche for their games, or for those with a compulsive need to buy or try new games very often. As for players, not necessarily; it's like saying we're bound to get bored of football or chess and so need to change the shape of the ball or the layout of the board (or nature of the pieces) pretty often. For the most part it's just the playing platform (the technology) changing, but people will still certainly prefer to keep having the chance to play their favorite games. Whatever changes occur will impact, let's say for instance, FPSs, but the gerne can remain basically the same for ages whilst being consistently entertaining us all the while.

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Scuba Steve said:

Not alot of creativity in monster design anymore.

Are you kidding? There's plenty of creativity out there now! Have you not seen the "robot doggie with knife for a tail"?

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gargoylol said:

What kind of game of the year only has a closed variety of enemies such as soldiers, zombies, crabs and large walkers anyhow, with sub-standard weapons like pistol, smg, shotty, rpg, etc.

It's called fitting the feature to the environment. Environments like, say, Q3 allow for variety because there are factors (read: gaping loopholes) in the storyline that open up possibilities for weapons, characters, settings and the like. Consistency helps you to understand your surroundings and react the way the programmers originally intended. In the end, it means that what you take away from the game is predictable (no matter whether or not you liked it). Extreme case: you don't make a WWII game where everyone can run full-tilt carrying a minigun or can survive fifteen bullets to the chest regardless of how totally tubular it looks. Well, you can, but I'll put money on it not being Game of the Year.

Even HL1 had more license for outlandish concepts than HL2 did. As a scientist running through a secret government laboratory fighting aliens from an unknown dimension, you're more likely to run into strange technology than you are in HL2 where you're essentially a lowly resistance member where most of the firepower in the game is used against you (and you've likely been forced to fight with some dusty weapon acquired from an abandoned military facility, or whatever's at hand). Granted, even the Gravity Gun was a stretch for the HL2 universe-- but it was just so damn cool they HAD to write it in. "Oh by the way, we made this. Play around with it a while."

Even so: it'd have been nice and flashy if all your squadmates ran around with Gravity Guns or frikkin' laser beams... but there's a sensible and logical reason why they weren't, and sorting out the environment, history and circumstances makes it all the more reasonable (and hopefully more immersive).

Finally: Q3 really never NEEDED to be immersive. It "needed" to be lightning-fast and brutal. Anything and everything was pointed toward that goal-- character designs were highly stylized and unique; items, weapons, and arena areas followed suit for quick recognition. In fact, there was probably actual effort put into making the player NOT understand the surroundings-- for the simple fact that it takes away from the game's focus. The entire premise is what, maybe two paragraphs long? HL2, of course, sits on the other side of the spectrum. The job done there was, in my opinion, done exceedingly well in every aspect just like every other Game of the Year in history.

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Scuba Steve said:

Doom 2 sucks... but if there's one thing it has, is possibly the most colourful and unique cast of monsters in any game. Each monster is its own entity and has its own persona. No two monsters (excluding the Hell Knight) are even remotely similar. So many games now have you fighting "Random rocket/pistol/rifle soldier" or "Random spikey monster, random jumpy monster". Not alot of creativity in monster design anymore.

Sounds like you're specifically talking about FPS' rather than all games in general. Of all the new games I've played in the past couple of years, Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2, Morrowind, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, the Ratchet & Clank trilogy, and Demonstone in particular all feature significantly different and recognizable creatures (though admittedly you'd have to be a D&D buff to know what all the Demonstone creatures were supposed to be).

On the FPS front, there is still the rare game which has a wide variety of enemies... though unfortunately, they tend to be restricted to the consoles. Metroid Prime is a *ahem* prime example.

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