Posts Tagged ‘Top Storitorial’

Top Storitorial – Watch_Dogs Impressions

watch dogs logo 2 Top Storitorial   Watch Dogs Impressions

We posted a lot of impressions & previews, some videos, and some screenshots from Ubisoft’s upcoming action-adventure/stealth title, Watch_Dogs today. In today’s Top Storitorial I’m going to discuss my impressions of the game from what I’ve seen/read from these outlets.

The game looks pretty awesome in general to me. The hacking aspect is something that hasn’t been done a whole lot in games to my knowledge, or at least not to this extent. Sure a lot of FPSes have things where you can hack open doors or take over a security camera, but Watch_Dogs is shaping up to allow you to hack an entire city’s infrastructure and its citizens. It’s an interesting take on Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto formula of open-world action-adventure do-anything type of game. I think Ubisoft has the potential for a real hit with this game if the actual gameplay can live up to the hype and videos.

In the GameTrailers video they showed a scene where protagonist Aiden Pierce escaped from a chase by going into a parking garage and there were a dozen or so different cars he could choose from to switch to. At first I was thinking it was just like the Pay-n-Spray from the GTA series, but then as the video progressed I saw that it was a full parking garage, not just a chop shop type of place like in the GTA games. This is a subtle touch and makes more logical sense from a real world perspective. Think about it. In a GTA game you go into a Pay-n-Spray and come out in the same car with a different paint job. You’d think the cops in the game would know where the Pay-n-Sprays are located and thus would automatically check for vehicles coming out of them especially if they were chasing a suspect. It’s not a horrible mechanic from a gameplay perspective, no, just isn’t as realistic as it could be. Now granted I haven’t played Watch_Dogs, but in the GT video, it appeared you could simply switch to a completely different vehicle which is something criminals do in the real world, so that is interesting.

I also liked the way you can distract guards by hacking various things. In one scene Pierce hacks a forklift to raise some pallets or something like that (was hard to tell from the distance in the video). In another he hacks an electric gate and opens it when he’s already inside the compound. These things are not unlike the use of flashbangs or smoke bombs or the like in various other games. It’s not something unheard of, distraction mechanics exist in lots of of games, but it’s still cool nonetheless, in my opinion. I wonder if you can drive smaller vehicles like the forklift around via hacking? That would be interesting. You could theoretically use it to pin a bad guy against a wall so they couldn’t do anything other than scream for help. But then again perhaps you could speed it up and impale the bad guy with the forks of the forklift.

Watch_Dogs is due out on November 19th in North America, November 22nd in Europe, and November 21st in Australia. What do you guys think of the game? Will you be picking it up? Which version if so? Why not if you’re not going to? Let us know in the comments.

Source: GameSaga Original

Top Storitorial – The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

rumored next xbox logo Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

In today’s Top Storitorial, we’ll be discussing the rumor that the Next Xbox is called Xbox Infinity. A lot of this is going to be speculative analysis because we don’t really know a whole lot about the system yet. This story seemingly originated on Reddit. The news actually hit there a few weeks back, but apparently it wasn’t widely reported until recently as it’s been all over the Internet today on various outlets, including here. Now granted I’m certainly not a Photoshop expert or anything, but it certainly looks nice, clean, and conceivably could be real. Infinity is a math concept not unlike 360 (a circle is 360 degrees), which was used for the second Xbox console, Xbox 360 (and circles were integrated into other aspects of the system, like the logo, the guide button, the power button, etc.). A lot of big name companies use simple block lettering for logos, so it’s not unheard of. Let’s breakdown the logo. Think about this, what is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows called? Windows 8. Now let’s rotate the image:

rumored next xbox logo rotated Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

You see the 8? If this name is real, could this be an intentional naming scheme/nod to their bread-and-butter, Windows? And the X and the 8 are both green, whereas everything else is white. X8? Perhaps it’s a sort of co-branding with Windows 8? And then we have the original Xbox logo:

xbox logo Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

What does the “B” in Xbox look like? Sort of like an 8 or if you flip it sideways:

xbox logo rotated Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

It somewhat resembles the infinity symbol. Granted it’s not a perfect match, due to the stylized lettering used for the Xbox logo. Now let’s look at the Xbox 360 logo:

xbox 360 logo Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

Now here the “B” doesn’t look a lot like an 8 per se, as it is once again stylized. Another point, the “X” letters look quite similar to the X’s in the rumored Xbox Infinity logo. Side note: Why is it that only the letter B is stylized? Does that signify anything? Now let’s flip the 360 logo:

xbox 360 logo rotated Top Storitorial   The Rumored Xbox Infinity Name

Again, the “B” here due to being stylized doesn’t look like a complete infinity symbol, but one could argue it contains half of one.

So what does all this mean? Maybe nothing, but perhaps Microsoft had already told us the name of the system long before this story ever came around. Maybe they had been planning on using the name for a while now, even back to the original Xbox days. Who knows? Only they know for sure.

My personal opinion on this? I’m leaning towards thinking the name and logo are fakes. High quality fakes no doubt. The logo even resembles a Windows 8 type of simple design/graphics. But I would think/hope Microsoft has better control over their Next Xbox secrets. I mean they’re holding their own event for the system instead of just waiting a couple of weeks for E3 (where traditionally major consoles have been revealed over the past several years). But I could also see how this could be the real deal. I’m some what 50/50 on it, but leaning towards fake, so probably more like 60/40 fake. If this is fake it wouldn’t be the first fake image in video games. The Triforce in Ocarina of Time, L Is Real 2041, Sheng Long in Street Fighter 2, Sonic & Tails in Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Phantom vaporware console, etc. There’s been many fakes in gaming history, will Xbox Infinity be the next one? We’ll find out for sure most likely on May 21st. As I mentioned earlier today, we’ll have a live blog going for the event.

Source: GameSaga Original & Wikipedia (1 & 2)

Top Storitorial – CNN Money "Nintendo is Doomed" Article Rebuttal

nintendo logo Top Storitorial   CNN Money "Nintendo is Doomed" Article Rebuttal

Don’t you just love articles like the CNN Money one which basically said Nintendo is doomed? It’s well known that Nintendo has huge amounts of cash stored away, so much so that they could fail completely with Wii U & 3DS both and still be able to stay in business. Yet this CNN Money article by Adrian Covert seems to imply otherwise. For this edition of the Top Storitorial, we’re going to do a rebuttal/counterpoint type of thing examining some of the illogical and false statements made in Covert’s article. So here we go:

“Nintendo has always been a little tone deaf when it comes to detecting and embracing new gaming trends.”

Yeah Nintendo sure doesn’t do anything trend wise. They only basically invented the D-pad, popularized analog sticks on home consoles, and popularized motion control gaming on home consoles. True they stuck with cartridges on N64 when everyone else was going CD, but it certainly didn’t bankrupt them or anything.

“The company sold only 3.45 million of the Wii U video game consoles during the first quarter, badly missing its own target of 4 million. The hand-held 3DS gaming device has also been a disappointment outside of Japan.”

That’s only a difference of 550,000 units. That may seem like a lot, but consider this. That amount is only 13.75% of the total amount sold. I’m sure lots of sales forecasters would love to come that close to their target. Is it good to miss your target? No, but it’s not like they were off by 2-3 million or anything.

As for the 3DS part, that is either a lie or a misguided opinion, not sure which. But if you look at sales charts (we’re using VGChartz for illustration purposes), such as those on VGChartz, you’ll see that it’s not quite the dire situation Covert makes it out to be. According to VGChartz, 3DS has sold 9.24 million in North America compared to 11.28 million in Japan. That’s a difference of “only” 2.04 million. Which is only 9.94% of the total amount sold between the two territories. On top of that, 3DS is currently ranked # 17 out of 30 systems listed on VGChartz for total sales in North America, all-time. Systems it’s already beaten (according to VGChartz)? TurboGrafx-16, WonderSwan, Sega CD, 3DO, Neo Geo, and PC-FX (though PC-FX and WonderSwan were never released in North America [Disclosure: VGChartz has these systems listed as selling 0.00 million units in North America which is probably not correct]). Other platforms 3DS has beaten (according to VGChartz) include: Wii U, Vita, Saturn, Dreamcast, Atari 7800, and Game Gear. Of those, Saturn, the 7800, and Game Gear were all on the market longer than 3DS has been.

“Making matters worse, Nintendo’s solution to the problem is a head-scratcher: CEO Satoru Iwata last week announced his support for in-game transactions and subscription-based payment models. As secondary concepts these are fine, but if Nintendo thinks this is what gamers really want from a modern console, it has lost touch with reality.”

Apparently this writer has never heard of Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, the Nintendo eShop, etc. Xbox Live in particular has been very successful using their subscription model and paid DLC. Micro-transactions are dumb though in my opinion, I have to give them that. All they do is gate things that don’t need gating all for the sake of charging money for it.

“Since the launch of the Gamecube in 2001, Nintendo has shied away from online gaming and entertainment-based features that were popular on rival consoles, such as the Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) Xbox or Sony (SNE) PlayStation. When it did finally offer some of these features, they were often half-baked (see: Nintendo’s “Wi-Fi Connection” online gaming service). Others were largely unavailable to the masses (see the Panasonic Q, the Gamecube with the DVD player that only came out in Japan).”

“Shied away from” is a bit of stretch. While they didn’t have an Xbox Live-like experience until recently, Nintendo has dabbled in online gaming for a long time. Nintendo had a modem for the Famicom in Japan, Satellaview for Super Famicom (also in Japan), and Randnet for the Nintendo 64DD (also Japan only). Though to be fair, the statement is somewhat accurate when considering Nintendo hadn’t had an online presence of their own design in North America until GameCube. For that they had the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter and a Modem Adapter. True, only seven games were even compatible with the devices, but it was possible (though three of them required using a tunneling service such as Warp Pipe on a PC to connect to outside lines).

Also, the PlayStation was not Sony’s main console during this time period, the PlayStation 2 was (launched in 2000), not sure if that was a typo or a genuine mistake. While Wi-Fi Connection was certainly not an ideal solution by any stretch of the imagination, it still was utilized frequently with dozens of Wii and DS games supported, including many of Nintendo’s own. The problems with WFC were that it wasn’t a fully integrated interface like Xbox Live and that supposedly 3rd parties had to mostly develop the online components for their games on their own. Friend Codes also didn’t help. People wanted to use usernames, not a random series of numbers. And you also had separate Friend Codes for each game despite the Wii having it’s own system Friend Code, which didn’t make sense.

For entertainment, Wii had pretty much the same things other systems had, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, an Internet Browser, etc. Granted you still couldn’t play DVDs on Wii without using other tools/software, but you still had a large portion of those entertainment options.

Now the Panasonic Q, that may have been a big deal to some people (not having DVD support on GCN), but it wasn’t to me. I buy game consoles to play games, not to watch movies.

“With Microsoft and Sony turning the gaming console into full-blown living room computers, Nintendo is being dragged along, kicking and screaming, refusing to fully acknowledge times have changed.”

Nintendo like I said had all those features on Wii and still do on Wii U. They even added Nintendo TVii which brings in TV features to the system.

“Some new Wii U features, like the touchscreen-equipped controller feel convoluted, and less innovative compared to technologies like Microsoft’s Kinect camera.”

Has this writer never used a smartphone or tablet before? What about playing the original DS? Touchscreens are not new, they’ve been around forever, so that part about it not being that innovative is somewhat true, though a touchscreen controller had not been done as a primary controller for a home console before to my knowledge.

Calling Kinect innovative is like calling Pepsi innovative. While Pepsi is in my opinion tasty, so too is Coca-Cola, but Coca-Cola was invented years before Pepsi ever was. Same thing with Kinect. Sony’s PlayStation Eye was released years before Kinect ever was. If anything Kinect merely refined the technology.

“Nintendo games that actually take proper advantage of the motion gaming tech aren’t coming from third-party developers, and Nintendo’s own titles — which are excellent more often than not — aren’t coming anytime soon.”

Not sure what this statement is really trying to get. The main feature of Wii U is the second screen, not motion control. Motion control is a feature, yes, but it’s not the main one. And also, how is it Nintendo’s fault that third parties aren’t taking advantage of the system’s features? You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, as the saying goes.

“Yes, the Wii U has improved upon its online gaming service, and given its console more content and features which integrate with your TV. The company said last week it will focus more on what it can do with digital distribution of Wii U games. That’s a good thing — even if Nintendo is five years behind. But the company still is treating that as an added bonus, and not a pillar of its business strategy.”

Um, that’s because it IS an added a bonus (in my opinion). You buy a game console to play games, not to watch TV shows, do your dishes, mow your grass, or heat your home. You wouldn’t expect your dishwasher to play games would you? A lawnmower? A heating system? So why should game consoles be expected to play movies, TV shows, etc.? It’s an added bonus. It is nice to have? Yes. Is it required? No, not for me at least.

“And considering that Nintendo has long said that it cares more about game play than graphics, it seems strange that it hasn’t put more time and effort into building out its WiiWare platform for indie developers looking to put out original titles. WiiWare started out promisingly enough in 2008, as the initial home to titles such as World of Goo and Mega Man 9, but since then it has mostly devolved into a den of cheap and generic mini-games. Since 2012, less than 25 titles have seen release through the platform.”

They mention the Wii U in this article yet they seem to ignore that fact here. There’s a reason why WiiWare isn’t used much anymore…it’s because Wii U released in 2012 (albeit late 2012). Duh! You don’t seem to mind that Microsoft no longer supports Xbox Live for the original Xbox, so how is this different? Do you really think they will leave Xbox Live running forever on Xbox 360 once the Next Xbox is released? Um…no…that’s not how the video game industry works. Anyone who has paid a lick of attention to the industry or actually done research would know this.

“Then there’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge: smartphone gaming. Nintendo is adamant that it won’t release its games for smartphones, despite the fact that they’d likely be instant top sellers. It’s understandable that Nintendo wouldn’t want to release some of its newer games on a competing mobile platform, for fear of cannibalization, but looking at the success that companies like Square Enix have had reissuing its Final Fantasy titles on the iPhone, what real harm is there in offering games like Super Mario Brothers? Nobody is going to buy a Nintendo 3DS just to download that from the eStore.”

I kinda agree with this though. It’d be nice if Nintendo would develop Android games for example. But until/unless Nintendo releases their own smartphone/tablet, I don’t see this happening anytime soon. They’re a lot like Apple in that they want complete control over the whole operation. Developing for Android or iOS puts more hands in the cookie jar, so to speak.

Come on now…eStore…how long would it take you to check the actual name? 5 seconds? Granted maybe it was just a typo, but still, CNN is a world-renown company and website, I expect more from them.

“Since the days of the Nintendo 64, it’s always been pretty easy to see when, where and why Nintendo was going to stumble as a company. And more often than not, it was because of their own stubborn thinking. The buildup of their past oversights has added up and left them lagging far behind their peers in present times.”

Oh really? Well then explain this:

vgchartz global hardware sales chart Top Storitorial   CNN Money "Nintendo is Doomed" Article Rebuttal
According to VGChartz, Nintendo has a 20 million+ lead on Xbox 360 and PS3 with the Wii. If Covert is expecting Wii U to have those kinds of numbers this soon, that’s delusional/wishful thinking. And they have a 20+ million lead on portables as well according to VGChartz (granted the Vita has been out a shorter amount of time). That statement claiming Nintendo is behind their peers is just factually incorrect as seen above & below.
And here’s Wikipedia’s chart for hardware sales:
wikipedia global hardware sales totals Top Storitorial   CNN Money "Nintendo is Doomed" Article Rebuttal

Source: GameSaga Original, CNN Money, VGChartz, & Wikipedia

Top Storitorial – Wolfenstein: The New Order Announcement

wolfenstein the new order logo Top Storitorial   Wolfenstein: The New Order Announcement

We’re beginning a new feature here on the site today. It’s called the Top Storitorial (yes that’s a made up word). Basically the idea is I will look at the top story for the day and give my opinions on it. It will hopefully be a daily feature whenever possible, but if there are really slow news days, it might not be. Anyways today’s is obviously about the announcement of a new Wolfenstein game, Wolfenstein: The New Order.

I’ve played and enjoyed just about every main entry in the Wolfenstein series since Wolfenstein 3D. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn today that a new game was in the works. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is my favorite in the series, though Wolfenstein (2009) is a close second. Let’s face it, blasting Nazi’s in the face is just plain fun. Add in some supernatural elements and you’ve got a recipe for a fun first person shooter. Now not every first person shooter is a great game, far from it, but Gray Matter Interactive and id Software did a bang up job with RTCW. I thought Raven Software and id did a good job with Wolfenstein as well. Though as we all know now the game did have some framerate issues when using the Veil power, which was annoying.

It looks like Wolfenstein: The New Order is going to add in some more futuristic elements to the series. In the trailer we see BJ facing off against some robot soldiers which no doubt are inspired by the Übersoldaten from RTCW which in of itself is creative license taken from rumors of actual Nazi experiments during World War II. This should be interesting and most likely lead to more advanced weaponry that the player can wield.

All-in-all, it sounds like it has great potential. I’m not entirely sure about MachineGames being the developers though. A large portion of them were part of Starbreeze Studios, who developed the two Chronicles of Riddick games as well as The Darkness. I haven’t played any of those games, so I’m not that familiar with MachineGames/Starbreeze’s work. Though the games all got good to great reviews, so I’m hopeful for Wolfenstein: The New Order.

The game is supposed to be released by the end of the year, so be sure to add it to your holiday shopping list if you celebrate and if not, just pick it up when it comes out anyways. I’ll be getting it for sure unless it completely tanks (hopefully a demo will be released prior to the release date of the full game).

What do you guys think of Wolfenstein: The New Order? Let us know in the comments.

Source: GameSaga Original