December 18, 2007
Gaming Steve Episode 66 - 12.18.2007
It's the end of the year and that means everyone has to release their "lists". So I join in the fun and go through my picks of 2007. What were the best games of 2007? What were the hidden gems that fell through the cracks? What were the most disappointing games? And what was my pick for Game of the Year? (I guarantee that my pick will be a surprise.)
Plus find out the status of the Name That Game contest where you can win a free next-gen game console
. Enjoy the show!
Gaming Steve Episode 66 Program
- 00:03:52 Game News:
- Crysis and Unreal Tournament 3 both underperform.
- GameStop opening tourney venues.
- Time loves video games.
- Blizzards confirms new MMORPG in the works and I give details.
- Everyone loves to game!
- Auran shuts shop, nobody really surprised.
- Assassin's Creed sells a gazillion copies ... but who cares! There is a new Might and Magic game coming!
- Why November sales matter for the entire year.
- Nintendo is losing a billion dollars on the Wii's short supply.
- Nintendo and GameStop to issue rainchecks (does anyone even know what a raincheck is anymore?).
- Soda companies blame video games for obese children.
- E3 returns to LA Convention Center, nobody cares except for gaming journalists.
- 00:55:18 Special Feature: What were the best, the hidden gems, and the most disappointing games of 2007?
- 01:23:49 Review: Mass Effect for the Xbox 360.
- 01:38:23 Name That Game: Do I pick the winner for the next-gen console this week? Do I?
- 01:40:00 Show Mail: I answer your email questions (send me some more questions please).
- 01:46:00 Final Thoughts: Why is nobody playing my 2007 Game of the Year pick?
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Posted by Gaming Steve at 5:30 PM
| Comments (16)
| Posted to Podcast
You broke a hundred minutes this time. That's good, last time you were so painfully close.
Thanks Steve, it's starting to feel like the good old days round here lately.
I have to say, I am not the world's biggest fan of board-to-video conversions. I would even venture to say that I would not even be in the finals for this hypothetical competition.
I don't know, I guess I just like being able to feel the token/die/fake money in my hand. It's part of the atmosphere, which is much different than that of a controller. Now, for something like a traditional video game, that's fine(can you imagine trying to play Mario with a little game piece?). But if I'm playing Clue or something I would like to be able to feel my token.
God Damn, 4 more months until UT3 is released for Xb360.
Sad is me.
I liked the Lord of the Rings online beta when I played it. The grinding rewards was a really cool idea, with the traits and stuff.
Titles... meh, I guess.
I didn't get very far, but I was told by my friends about those crazy coordinated moves. Sounded nifty, but at the point I was still just killing stuff for traits and titles.
They also told me about how they were wandering through the woods and got the everliving s*** scared out of them when a tree started pounding their asses. Heh.
I quit the beta because I absolutely detest travel time (in any game though, not just LotRO).
Maybe I'll return someday. Not anytime soon though. :/
All I'd do is play music anyway.
*SPITS OUT DRINK!!!!*
I was chuckling whilst listening to the most dissapointing games of the year, I agree with pretty much everything you said. Thanks for telling it like it really is!
I have to sleep! But nooo! New Gamingsteve podcast :( no time to sleep
Crysis not selling is really sad. I think their problem is that it looks too good. If you max out all the settings the game breaks through the photo-realism barrier, and having to turn the graphics down below that threshold is more painful than it was for Far Cry even though both games look good on medium settings. I'm holding off on buying the game until I get a new PC and I imagine others are as well.
As for UT3 I think it's similar to Hellgate in many ways (though they will undoubtedly blame their sales on piracy, even more sad). UT99 broke new ground when it came out, but since then they've just milked their franchise and since then the online multiplayer genre has exploded. With Battlefield, ET:QW, TF2 to play why would people bother with an UT game that does nothing new.
It's similar to Hellgate because the devs have gotten tons of press and yet it seems they're totally out of touch with what gamers want. When I heard both Flagship and Epic speak about their games they were both sure how awesome they were and how good they would do. They aren't any different from the guys who made Fury! They just have more renown. On paper UT3 should sell because of the name but when you look at the game I'm not surprised it didn't. The game doesn't have a soul at all.
I don't think the hardcore FPS market has migrated to consoles, it's just that people are stuck playing CS and BF. CS 1.6 peaks at over 250,000 people playing simultaneously every day, that's a ton (right now there's 295,576 people playing)! UT got big because it was the only game that offered what it did at the time, but people have moved on and they haven't evolved.
A problem with competitive games is that they don't need sequels the way SP games do. If there are mechanics that work well, why change them for the purpose of change? If you don't know how to improve the game then why even try? Valve didn't improve on 1.6 with CS:S they justed oophmed the graphics and no one cares because that's not what it's about.
I'm curious to see how Blizzard will manage to do that with SC2. That game is SO hardcore it's insane, and a lot of it comes from interface limitations. Those limitations require the player to develop tremendous dexterity to overcome them while still manging the tactical side of things. They just can't release a modern game with an explicitly impractical interface, but they will have a hard time (not an impossible time) pleasing the hardcore players who have practiced a ton.
All games are defined by limitations. In soccer, you can't touch the ball with your hands which is stupid, but it defines a way to compete and something to be good at. Being able to build lots of units in one click is practical but it doesn't take skill, if it doesn't take skill it's more accessible. It will be hard for them to work it out. The "easy to learn, hard to master" design is hard to come up with. SC btw has way more depth than SupCom. Tech trees != depth, just lazy design.
If anyone is interested in seeing some SC games check out this guy on youtube (http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=KlazartSC). It's really awesome to watch, much more intense than most sports.
Also, about Blizzard. Diablo II is pretty huge in Europe. It's huge. Stores were open at midnight here for its release and that was in 2000! Diablo III as an MMO would be sad though :( there's no way they could keep the simplicity. Well maybe, but it would be a damn bold move. Diablo II is all about grinding but you always want that next item and the controls are so simple that it's effortless to play. I think the failure of Hellgate will make them stay less true to DII. Hellgate sucks though, the damn devs don't know what made their game great and not "good", silly rabbit tricks are for kids.
Kinda funny, you talked about the lines between different 'classes' of gamers then shortly afterwards you said "not just casual, but TRUE gaming" =) flash sucks though, so I do hope it goes away soon. Id are making a browser based Quake III too!
Obsidian's stories were always better than BioWare's but their games never really were
Finally, maybe unrelated, but like someone said, the fact that there's so much in Orange Box makes people doubt its value. I saw a thread where it took 7 pages to persuade a guy to go buy it. To be honest, I felt kind of the same way though. You're getting a lot, but you're not getting a new really long game, you get lots of pieces. It feels like you're getting too little even though it's irrational.
And almost forgot! Good that you pointed out BioShock being dumbed down (even "shock" in the name lol). I think it got too much credit. I so HATE the fact that games get dumbed down for consoles, like Deus Ex: Invisible War =(. I also get annoyed that nobody pointed out how dumbed down the game is. Not going to go on about that it would be too long :P sorry for the long comment
I thought Mass Effect was a breeze as an Engineer (100% tech). Even though I could only use pistols, if I grouped with Ashley and Liara, I had a perfect balance of combat, tech, and biotics. Ashley and Liara made quick work of enemies while I healed and used sabotage and AI hacks to make battles pretty easy.
New gaming steve's returning to my ipod is the best christmas present ever!!!
While speaking about the hardcore/casual gamer dichotomy in this episode you talked about how ridiculous it would be to apply the same language to movies or music, how silly it would be to talk about "hardcore" movie viewers or music listeners.
This dichotomy actually DOES exist in the music world, I'm not sure about movies, but I wouldn't be surprised if it existed there too. I agree with you that such divisiveness is absurd, Steve, but I live in a hipster-heavy neighborhood and see/hear people arguing about music in this manner almost every day. Frankly, I succumb to it at times as well.
I have to disagree about CNC3, for exactly the reason you liked it. When I play a strategy game, I expect it to be about strategy, not about who can click fastest. A 10 minute game is, to me, incredibly boring. I hate RTS games that are over before they really begin.
That's why, for an RTS, I really like Company of Heroes. A good even match can last for an hour, maybe a little longer... and even if you're losing in the beginning you can turn things around for a win. Use of tactics is also important as the unit cap is so low that you can't just throw everything at the enemy and hope to win. (Well, for a while you could but the most recent patch started fixing that.)
But CoH is a really groundbreaking RTS. SupCom is like any other RTS except everything "goes to eleven" so to speak. It's not very creative at all :/ but C&C3 wouldn't be on my list of best RTSes either though, it's more of a casual tank rush RTS than a good competitive game
You said Zelda PH is like MC and if you want to play PH just play MC. You also said that it was the same thing like any other Zelda. I do not remember using any touch screen in MC. That is just one of the many examples how PH is unique and not like any other Zelda game.
Medz, I agree that Zelda Phantom Hourglass has some original components, like using the touchscreen and blowing into the mic, but those are simply input devices centered around the main story and gameplay. I agree that it did have some innovative input elements, but overall gameplay was just too similar to past Zelda titles for my taste.
Much like how Super Mario Galaxy took the standard platformer and greatly expanded the genre on the whole through new gameplay mechanics and level design, while keeping the original spirit of the game intact, Zelda needs to do the same.
The gameplay needs to stand on its own outside of the touchscreen and mic, and I just didn't feel that it did this.
Not that I didn't enjoy the game, I just didn't think it was as good as it could have been and that Zelda Minish Cap was a superior title.
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