The console wars of the late 1980s to early 1990s were primarily focused on the Nintendo SNES and the Sega Genesis (Kent, 2001). Sega and Nintendo were the biggest names in gaming at this time, and Sega wished to dethrone the elite proclaimed video game king – Nintendo. The Genesis was their first blow against Nintendo’s prowess. Nintendo had a mass following with their myriad third party licenses and great original titles. In addition, the quality of the games was far superior to anything else out there. Nintendo managed to produce memorable games, featuring characters that people loved: The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Donkey Kong, etc. With such a strong fan base and following, it’s no wonder that Sega struggled to play catch up.

 

Sega released the Sega Genesis in America, immediately attacking their 8-bit counterparts at Nintendo with a 16-bit processor, which meant better, more vivid graphics. Their slogan was “Genesis does what Nintendon’t.”and it was true, to a point (Kent, 2001). Sega was like the tiny bully in the schoolyard picking on the bigger kid simply because he could. Sega may have had better hardware, but where they decided to place their faith in game designs was flawed. Sega decided to invest heavily in celebrities’ likenesses to market their games, whereas Nintendo made their characters the celebrities of their systems (Kent, 2001). The game quality of Nintendo was far superior, and so Sega faced a whole new struggle – making a name for themselves with their games, not just their hardware or celebrity faces.

 

Nintendo did wonderfully with selling their content for their consoles with the NES, SNES, and Game Boy. They were household names in the game market, where they failed was they lacked upgrades to compete with Sega. Sega had the Genesis, a far superior piece of hardware, and Nintendo dragged their knuckles trying to get a new console system out. If they had wanted to truly be ahead in the console battle they would have motioned their efforts into the SNES. They felt that Sega was a young upstart company that couldn’t touch them. Tell this to the speedy hedgehog that rushed in to be Sega’s face of Genesis packages. Sonic the Hedgehog was a wonderful move by Sega to try and attack Nintendo’s massive Japanese third-party company acquisitions: Konami, Capcom, Bandi, etc., and their vibrant characters.

 

Sega’s attack on Nintendo was a good move, but sadly, I believe it was flawed. Nintendo would continue to make successful rewarding games, and the consoles that followed would be far superior to the sort of advancements Sega wished to dish out. Sega killed their prowess with overpricing their future hardware, where Nintendo continued to focus on making quality games for each upgraded console.

Reference Material:

Kent, S. (2001). The ultimate history of video games. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

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(( Placeholder to be done later today – but definite discussion of the Vita and it’s bag of tricks on the way! ))

Hey there folks! Back again with another installment, and goodness me it seems like I can never get regular postings happening any more.  This go around though I have a treat to talk about, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and while I would love to be giving you a review of a game demo of the single player mode ( Utter sadness that I must wait till November for that ) I can with good conscience give you a briefing on the demo Multiplayer Beta. I was just so lucky to gain access to the Beta recently and I began to play it with a couple of friends – and seriously – Naughty Dog pulled out the stops on this thing.

Now while you don’t get the full red carpet pulled out and full access to all multiplayer maps and playstyles, what I did see impressed me. The graphics are smooth and cinematic as ever. I spent most of my time playing in co-op arena, but it was really a blast. It’s essentially Uncharted’s version of “hoard” mode, but they do it very well. The levels and villains increased in both number and difficulty and you really had to rely on your partners around you, staying in a group made for better odds of survival than soloing it, obviously. The customization options were really cool, though I have to say I was a bit saddened by the lack of choices readily available for the demo. Let us all pray that there will be a better plethora of options to obtain and use by the time the full November version rolls around.

Gameplay is pretty much on par with Uncharted 2 multiplayer. It’s smooth, well defined, good number of enemies and the environments are pretty enough to eat, let alone shoot. The co-op mode divided the game up into little segments too, which I thought was interesting. One was called “Gold Rush”, which I’d seen as it’s own game in Uncharted 2, and then another was called Territory. This setting required your team to defend a defined territory on the map for that round and any kills made from the territory counted towards your total. I was very pleased and impressed by this, and is it just me? – or have I noticed a lack of bratty people during this Beta?

The Uncharted online crowd, seem to be older and wiser players and thus the experience of playing with someone new isn’t a hassle as much as other games. Now I could be wrong and that could just be my experience, but from what I’ve gathered so far this multiplayer is going to be awesome. There are some very epic moments too within the game that made me smile, like the Airport level has one team starting off in an airplane – if you can defend yourselves from dying via and defend your team while taking off then you get a bonus if your entire team survives takeoff. Now I’ve only played the Beta for a little bit, and so I’m still going to be gathering info as I can – but so far, it’s awesome. The multiplayer is fun and engaging and it makes playing as Nathan Drake and Sully in multiplayer a blast – because now you and your best friend can be the dynamic duo online – kicking the crap out of other teams of Sullies and Drakes, and that in and of itself, is a joy to watch.

The Uncharted TV and ability to create cinema clips and share over it is also a bonus. Something that I didn’t feel like they really grasped in Uncharted 2 was that in this day and age, people want a multiplayer setting that they can share with their friends. If they pull off some sick accomplishment that wows them then they want to wow their friends with the same jaw dropping moments. I sort of wish they’d been able to have this sort of replay feature in Halo now… the countless hours of Blood Gulch headshots I would have recorded, or blowing myself up with sticky grenades to destroy a base… ahh those were the days… until Uncharted came along and kicked the crap out of my nostalgia. Now I’m all about finding treasure, blasting pirates, and saving the world one lost artifact at a time.

More on the Multiplayer Beta as I discover it, but as for now, this Beta is a definite thumbs up. NaughtyDog is really on point with this project, and I can only hope they’ve put the same amount of detail and care into the single player as they have this multiplayer, because now I have even more reason to drool in November other than just turkey on Thanksgiving.

– MM137

Dusting Off The Cobwebs…

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

This will be a short, but sweet, post folks. I just wanted to come out and say that I apologize for not keeping this up and running. I realize that the last post I did was a YEAR ago. Life got really hectic and frustrating for me, and so my focus toward the gaming universe was taken away for a while. I’m back though and just in time, because it’s E3 time again! Yep, which means I’ll be giving my opinions in the coming days over all the E3 news, all of the great trailers, game play, and new hardware that was demonstrated this year. News like:

  • Playstation Vita
  • Wii U
  • Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • XBox Live and Kinect News
  • Halo 4 and Anniversary Edition
         … and much much more!
– MM

Preview: Gears of War 3

Posted: June 19, 2010 in E3, Gaming, Previews

Oh what would be an appropriate tagline for this preview?  Oh yeah. Locusts, are the least of your worries. Once again the creators over at Epic games have raised the bar with the third installment of their series: Gears of War. In Gears 3 a lot has changed, but there is still so much that remains nostaligic, that even the most hardened Gears veteran will be proud of the appropriate changes. The Epic team has taken it upon themselves to add new characters to the mix, add new creatures, and even new gameplay modes to your Gears experience.

The team at Epic, has essentially decided to create Gears 3 as a game that will resolve all of your questions within the storyline of the previous versions. You’ll have an almost more intimate look at the characters, as now, you and your crew are the only remaining hope for the decaying planet. The new game will also bring with it new technology, which I personally, believe will make the game more of a personal experience for the Gears player. I’ve played through both Gears 1 & 2 with friends in Multiplayer modes, but when I heard that the campaign was going to be 4 player co-op – I freaked out.

This means that now our troop will have to function like a real troop, and you will have to rely on your teammates to finish the levels. I think this is a definite positive step in the right direction if you want to put an emphasis on personal emmersion. Secondly, you’ll be able to swap ammo and guns interchangably between characters apparently, which may definitely come in handy with the new breed of villian marching on the doorstep. The Lambent.

These creatures are brutal and mutate. You will have to use all the weapons at your disposal to take them down, because they will be much harder than before, which is why the idea of cooperative play really comes in handy here. With difficulty though, also comes ways to combat that difficulty, and what would a new Gears game be without new guns? A plethora of new guns will be able to be put into the shiny mits of Dom and Marcus – and your other playable members: Jace Stratton, and Anya ( these are the only two that have been announced, but it seems like there could possibly be more avalible to play )

The guns consist of everything from: A double barrel, sawed off shotgun; a Pendulum-era Lancer – with a bayonet on the end; a newly designed Hammerburst, a Digger Launcher ( it shoots explosive piranha into the ground that attack your enemy ), and a gun called the C.O.G One Shot. Other aspects of  the weapons have also been changed, but mostly it has to do with combat in that sense. In the case of the Lancer, there is now a move called the “Chainsaw Kick” avalible – for when you have a glowing Lambent drones on you that can explode, and you’d rather kick them away.

The game looks amazing. Check it out for yourself in this gameplay video, but probably the best news I heard all day from that was that, besides the 4 – Player Co-Op modes, and besides the new monsters,  there is now a Beast Mode for the multiplayer maps. This mode blew my mind and I was like, “Thank you Epic!”, because even though I’m not a Gears fanboy, I could easily become one with this mode. You have the option now to play the other side of the battle and go around killing soldiers as Locust creatures. This – to me – is like the greatest little present Epic could ever give a multiplater experience.

There will be new Locusts, and new weapons on their side as well, and even some neat toys for the C.O.D. – like the C.O.D Silverback – an robotic exoskeleton that can be used at certain points in the game. The team has really done wonders with incoperating the new with the old and making this game something that even I’m wanting to demo personally before it hits stores. They have done a wonderous job at understanding the need for balance in a gaming environment. They have had to contend with the difficulties of creating a 4-player C0-Op mode that would catter to all different play types and so they’ve created difficulty modes that depict that.

So whether you’re a casual, “I pick up my controller once a month – maybe.” gamer, or your a “Wait. You mean I have to eat and sleep too while I play this?” gamer – there will be some way for you to enjoy this game. This is how well thought out the Epic team has worked on making Gears 3 stand above it’s predessors. I personally, cannot wait to go to town on some Locusts. Enjoy the content!

– MM

Well. If any of you have followed my blog for a bit now you’ll notice that I have been away for some time, like an abandoned assassin from a forgotten guild, and for this I am dreadfully sorry. School came first though, but now I have returned from my post – ready to once again quench gamer pallets with some interesting array of gamer knowledge. Today we’re going to be talking about AC: Brotherhood – and trust me this is an article you’ll want to read.

Now I read an article in the July issue of Playstation Magazine. You can pick it up now, but here is my point, my blog is designed for those people who don’t have access to the gamer curcuit, or money to blow on magazine sales because they would rather actually save up the cash on games instead. This is for you folks, now on to the bloodshed and stealth demeanor of Brotherhood shall we? – because who wants to sit here and read my writing for like five minutes when we can talk about the actual game?

I will say that the article is totally enthralling and if you get a chance to read it, please do. If your a fan of AC you’ll probably wet yourself from the enjoyable feeling you get when you see all the neat things they are planning for this third installment. Firstly, you should know up front that you’ll once again be playing as Ezio, and yes you’ll be in Renassaince Italy, however, it won’t be just your normal Assassin’s game. They’ve made some alterations within the game mechanics to provide for a more thorough experience this time around.

Ubisoft also displayed a ton of information about this amazing franchise during the E3 Press Conferences, and so here’s what I’ve learned so far throughout my journey of information overload that I’ve gotten recently on this game. The first news that you need to know is that people need to understand that it is not the following: it’s not an expansion, and it’s not really a 3rd installment – instead, think of it as a continuation of the storyline from AC:2, but here’s the catch. AC: Brotherhood pits our friend Ezio in a few years after the final episode in AC:2.

He’s become older, more hardened, and way more experienced than previously before. I have a few trailers here, and I will be posting some picture content that I’ll scan and post in later. Essentially the story follows this: You play as Ezio and he’s, yes, still an assassin hunting down Borgia’s goons – you spared Ricardo Borgia in AC:2, and because of this, now you fall into the game when his younger, wiser to your tricks, son comes into the mix. He attacks your home town in Tuscany, and now your off to the races – facing this new villain and his group of noble prudish vagrants.

The biggest interest was that a few things have changed for the AC franchise. You’re going to be playing in Rome. Yep. Rome. The piece you merely got a glimpse of with the Vatacan. It is the largest city in that recorded time, and so developers at Ubisoft realised that rather than rush their content in such an expansive place they would give you a chance to immerse yourself in the city of Rome as an entire game. The second aspect that’s changing is that the battle controls have been tweeked, slightly, and this was designed so that rather than waiting on your AI so that you could counter attack.

You can now take the fight to the AI. This is going to be important, as it’s been reported and announced that the AI are going to be far more aggressive than 1 & 2. No more stoic statues with blades watching you slay their comrades. The fighting style encourages attack first combos – which seem to resemble a chain sequence iconic of another major title perhaps? – Arkham Asylum may have been influencing the boys at Ubisoft to smooth out the timing and feel of the game.

Perhaps the biggest most iconic aspect that has been announced and confirmed, is Multiplayer, and if you’re worried that Multiplayer will get too much “ass” in your Assassin’s Creed – fear not. The once sole single player is merely branching out it’s wings to Multiplayer to give you an unique experience that will be more iconic than the first two games. Here’s what you need to know about the Multiplayer functions that have been announced so far. Multiplayer will have maps – so while it does seem Ezio may be training a group of assassins in AC:BH, it also seems like Ubisoft wants to make the multiplayer action a seperate entity apart from your single experience.

In the game ( single player ) you can reportedly recruit and train assassins to your guild. You can also, reportedly, equip them with tools and armor on their journey to join you on your passioned vengence to destroy the rising Borgia Empire. It is really an interesting way of going about the Assassin franchise, because now you feel like a leader. You can send out your newbies on missions that will ultimately help your whole storyline and so from that aspect I think will be severely interesting. There also seems to be an RPG element to this new Creed as you’ll reportedly be able to update your recruits skill points and specific assassin prowesses.

The Multiplayer goes further than just maps too, I know I touched and skipped around – sorry about that – but what will make the bloodshed and gameplay fill nationwide consoles everywhere is this new multiplayer action. You’ll be able to take to the streets of Rome with your buddies and play out all of your fantasies of slaying your targets like a stealth bomber. Now there will reportedly be many types of gameplay within the Multiplayer circuit, but the one that Ubisoft is focused on at the moment is “Wanted” – a gameplay mode devoted to supporting at least 8 players into a map where they will ultimately stalk each other as targets.

If the surge of adrenaline in your system isn’t kicking in yet – yeah, it should be. This mode will allow you to stalk your friend as a “Mark” and then pretty much end his life. This is done by picking a character model, then getting an assigned friend as a target, and then hunting them down. The trick is going to be wading through a town of AI, that are more often than not, based from the character models that you could possibly play. This is going to make the experience much more difficult as now you’re really going to have to rely on your stealth, awareness, and accuracy. Take out the wrong person beforehand, and the assassin who’s marking you – will know exactly where you are.

Sound fun yet? You bet! With other added benefits like mounted in-city horseback riding, the training, and the multiplayer aspects of this game – which, by the way, every character model has a different way of killing. In the instance of the doctor – he can kill you with a suringe needle in the neck – if that doesn’t scream awesome – you need help. The chase and evade sequences that will trigger when you blow cover, and a neat morphing ability that can be used to assume another character model while hiding – gives this game huge potential.

Check out all the videos and pics in this article – as this game will be dropping: November 16th, 2010.

– MM

Week Long E3 Coverage

Posted: June 14, 2010 in E3, Gaming

Hey there folks. MM here – finally coming out of the caves of schooling to deliver to you on a silver platter one of the greatest gaming events in the history of gaming, E3, ( Electronic Entertainment Expo ) – and this year it is loaded with great new stuff that I am so excited to talk about. Here’s the reason why I have hesitated on posting, besides school delays. I have been hard at work doing massive amounts of research, reading numerous articles, and trying to collect as much information about the games that I’m going to be displaying here in the coming week, that it only felt good to just now express my personal opinions on the whole gaming universe bombshells.

So here is how my game roster is going to break down over the course of the week. Of course, I have a real life, and so will have to devote blocks of time to every game mentioned. This can become tedious, and I would hate to have you reading a HUGE article riddled with short blips of information.

This being said, I have come up with an alternative to this. On this particular post I’m going to be posting my list of games that were covered, and on each will be posted and dragged to a link that will take you to the appropriate full article. These articles will cover EVERYTHING I know about the game your interested in. This includes: game engines, gameplay, trailers, – whatever is available at my disposal to show and tell you guys I certainly will. I am a man of my people, and you are my people. I aim to please, and so I’ll begin by dropping down my list of announcements and game titles. Each game will have its own article hotlink so feel free to browse at your own leisure.

E3 Games ( Day 1 ) :

  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  • Battlefield Bad Company: Vietnam Expansion
  • Crysis 2
  • Driver: San Fransisco
  • EA: MMA
  • Madden NFL 11
  • Medal of Honor
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Microsoft “Kenetic” Games
  • Shawn White Skateboarding
  • Rayman: Origins
  • Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions
  • Power Gig: Rise of the Six String
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising
  • Gears of War 3
  • Rock Band 3
  • Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
  • Hunted
  • Active 2
  • Halo: Reach
  • Homefront
  • Bulletstorm
  • Sims 3

         … and more!

– MM