Xbox 360

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You know it’s a slow news year when you hit number 17 of your “comparison” articles on Eurogamer.

How many times can someone write… “it loads a bit faster on Xbox360, looks a bit better on PS3, but ultimately the game is exactly the same”

I mean, it’s a simple cut and paste job, but I think somewhere we’re missing the fundamental fucking point.

No-one actually gives a shit. And anyone who does give a shit is a fucking retard who is wasting their life force giving a shit about things that really don’t matter.

We’re not in the SNES vs Megadrive era any more. There isn’t a mode seven or opacity tricks, one doesn’t have a better audio processor over the other, the technical differences are so minuscule nowadays that it becomes irrelevant.

Please, for the love of god can we just move on from comparison videos and trying to ignite the format console war of the bygone era. Yes, Amiga vs ST, C64 vs Speccy, Snes vs Megadrive, they were wars because there were actually differences.

And here we finally rest on my point. (I KNEW there was one) – Making comparison VIDEOS is a complete and utterly fucking retarded thing to do. Seriously, it’s one of the most basically fundamentally thick fucking ideas I’ve ever seen.

Sure, the concept is sound, record the same bit of a game, split the video down the middle, label, publish, sit back in awe as people play spot the difference. Awesome idea..

Except… Hold on, What technology are you using here?

Right, so I’m assuming you’re pumping the signal through a composite or S-video cable, into a DVD-R machine perhaps, which is compressing it from whatever resolution the signal is in to a compressed lossy MPEG2/Div X codec.

Then, when that hardware is finished fucking about with it, you’ll rip a .vob file from a DVD, convert it back into a new video format that is, again, compressed.
Then you upload it to your website, and even with broadband, you’re looking at about 80mb for a minute of footage in a web-codec. Lets assume DivX

So basically, simply in the transition from PS3/Xbox 360 to Web Site video, your footage has been compressed/decompressed/compressed again all in a majorily lossy format. So any clarity that you’re trying to identify and compare is no longer there because of the format you’ve fucking picked.

Therefore, making your video completely, and utterly fundamentally fucking useless.

It is ONLY possible to do these comparison videos in a native uncompressed video. And those fuckers are big. We’re talking hundreds upon hundreds of megabytes – and I suppose you could pump the signal from the hardware directly into a PC and save it there, but as soon as you pump it through any sort of compression Codec, what you see is not what the PS3/Xbox360 is pumping out.

FUCKING COCKS.

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As we all know, games writing is a bullshit art. Seriously overpaid people who think that they can put as much detail of story into a game whilst the player is concentrating on blasting the fuck out of a brumak on insane.

Just to make everyone clear, I think that “stories” in games are the anus of games, to be perfectly frank, barring a very few rare exceptions, I do not give a fucking shit about stories in games. In fact, I think games are medium where we should transcend stories altogether and brace yourself let the player make up his own story. Hey, now there’s a fucking novel [pun pun] idea.

And so when I wake up this morning with a rapidly cooling coffee, and click Kotaku to see Rhianna Pratchett spouting off about the subject indicating that “integrating story people into the development team is the future” – it kind of irritates me.

Why does this bother me?

Well Mirrors Edge has possibly got one of the most waffer thin “stories” I’ve ever fucking experienced in a game. I god damn tried to like the fucking game, but just can’t. The controls are hit and miss, and in a world where controls are so important, it’s inexcusable.

Secondly, and this is the more applicable point for this post is-
Every single interesting bit of the game is shown to you in a cutscene. So horribly ripped off from “thief: the dark project” but not carried out with anywhere near as much style. See, these fucking developers think that ‘no one will spot it if we nick that cool idea from a game in the 1990′s’ – Wrong.

Course – I’m not adverse to saying that copying good things is okay, it’s fine, it’s how we learn after all, but copying and making significantly worse is an entirely different kettle of bastard.

So, lets assume these cut-scenes are where the story is being told. (And it seriously is as thin as cling film) – Why are they 2d cartoons? Is that supposed to be stylish and cool and hip and trendy and an EA thing to do? Why do they have exciting bits that I have to Watch why not have me actually taking part in them, are we not there yet? (Ref: Half Life ~ 1998)

Hold the phone then when you start sharing your wisdom when you are obviously not fucking qualified to do so. Just because you worked on a game that gets media coverage doesn’t instantly make it a fucking diamond that did everything right.

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because this, surely, is heaven…






And if you’re worried about the video and the screenshots (and to be honest, the music in the video) then fear not my friends. Because Ezra Dreisbach himself is making this game.

If only life had a fast forward button.

Edit:

A polite plea – Please, for anyone who hasn’t played Deathtank, please, for the love of god, stop comparing it to Scorched Earth, that’s like comparing it to worms. Which is infinitely stupid, and demonstrates that you know nothing.

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My love for Jeff Minter is well documented but sometimes I do honestly wonder if he’s just fucking with us.

For those not “with it”, here’s the gambit in an easy to digest blockquote…

Jeff Minter is a pseudo game developer from the early 80′s and arguably 90′s – His games have three main attributes in common. 1. They usually involve goats, llamas or other such animals, 2. They usually have graphics that have been drawn by a hippy blind man on acid, and 3. They are all fucking wank. (I’d love to argue the toss and say that there is a brilliant exception, but there just isn’t)

Anyway, not long back, Jeff released a game called “Space Giraffe” and simultaniously achieved two things, firstly, he won the Chris Jones award for THE shittest name of a game in history and secondly, the game was (correctly) universally slammed as a piece of dog turd, and it sales showed that Jeff has completely and utterly missed the point of Xbox Live arcade.

In defence of his game, he then went on to comment that games such as Frogger (which I agree IS shitty death), and PAC-MAN were nothing new and didn’t deserve the astronmical sales they achieved. Arguing that trying to do something “new” with XBLA in Space Giraffe hurt sales, even though the game is basically exactly the same as his past “efforts”

Now I see that he’s releasing another game Gridrunner +++ on the service he so happily slagged. So why? Why would a person who cosmically failed previously bother to try again?

Is it perhaps that Jeff knows he’s a dinosaur from a by-gone era where he was only semi-famous for making shit stoner games and in the modern world of “indie gaming” *spit spit* he’s a nobody with antiquated ideas of what makes a decent game?

I hope this one gets slammed to shit, and personally, I hope it’s a fucking amazing game. Cos that’ll Really piss him off.

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