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Comment Re: Nintendo is here to stay! (Score 1) 277 277

Now that the Wii is dead I've been looking through its library to purchase some second hand titles and catch up on what I might have missed. There's not much there to recommend the effort. As an avid gamer since the first NES I have to say the Wii's library is the saddest modern library I've ever seen. I know it had a reputation for shovelware but wow. Nintendo should have taken the windfall profits of the absolute Hail Mary they landed on the Wii and positioned themselves as a software company. They've demonstrated for two iterations now that they just don't have the interest in keeping up with graphics technology anymore and there aren't any more surprise demographics left to harvest. I'd like to keep playing their games but I'm not interested in picking up another console just for a few Mario and Zelda titles amid an ocean of shitware.

Comment I love being a console owner today (Score 1) 397 397

I was going to play a quick game before dinner tonight. A game I legally bought. I couldn't because I had to install some shitty firmware update that provides me with no benefit and only attempts (futilely?) to close up security holes. Oh well, dinner's ready...

Comment Re:What's wrong with this? (Score 1) 139 139

I was initially puzzled by the move, but as pointed out it is clearly in violation of the Terms of Service. I remembered reading this rule when I signed up as a developer. I think the real problem is the lack of an official explanation from Google. Kongregate is a pretty large site and gaming on Android is still in it's infancy. It just seems weird that not only did they not totally embrace this new, pretty solid little gaming app, but that they didn't provide the reasoning for taking it down. They didn't even explain it to Kongregate from what I can see as they have also not officially explained why it was pulled. It seems clear that the above reason is why, but we're only left with this third party guess. It's that silence that makes the pull seem especially heavy-handed, leaving news sites to make the Apple comparison, even if you can easily get the app elsewhere just fine.

Comment The Title is misleading (Score 4, Interesting) 439 439

It's not that single-player is dead. It's that offline is dead (or dying). Which is, and I say this as a predominantly single-player game enthusiast, basically okay. Right now I'm playing two games pretty regularly, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Joe Danger, which both have well integrated leaderboards. But they don't just pit you against millions of random people across the globe. They actually pit you against people on your friends lists.

So when I boot up NFS and get ready to tick off another event on that big map I instead skip over to the Autolog and see what my friends have been up to lately. I then spend the next hour and a half trying to beat their times and reclaim my top spot on the wall. So for a game where I would normally run straight through trying merely to complete every event and reach 100% completion, I'm now basically wasting time re-racing events competitively against my friends list. And you know what? I'm loving it. I think this is actually the best way to enhance replayability that I've seen in a long time. And it's not like leaderboards are anything new in games, far from it. But that connectedness is really addicting. I've yet to play one multi-player event. I will at some point but I'm still having fun with the single-player. Fun that indeed benefits from the connected, social features they've weaved into the game.

And yea I'm not a Facebook guy but from what I understand this is a pretty common thread among Facebook games as well. It's an interesting way to game.

Comment Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (Score 1) 207 207

I had DSL from them a few years ago. Just moved into the apartment and apparently there were problems with the line. Must have spent a total of 4 hours over a couple of days trying to get online, bounced all over India. They determined it was an issue with the line and wanted to charge me $100 to fix it. So I just told them I'd like to cancel. They then decided to send someone out for free and fix the line, then sent me a bill for the $100. I had to get on the phone again to have that waived. My takeaway from the experience is that Verizon has run the numbers and determined that dicking around with you right up to the point of cancellation is in fact more lucrative than just helping you. And sadly this is probably the truth. Doesn't do much for their image, but apparently that just doesn't matter. We have only ourselves to blame really. Somewhere along the line consumers gave up self-respect for the convenience of not having a backbone.

Comment Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (Score 1) 207 207

It's not just their customers they nickel and dime. A friend of mine just got a job managing a Verizon store. Not only is she surprised by reading up on all the fees they charge their customers at every turn, but she is also finding out that they will try and screw her out of everything they promised they'd pay her. She is still officially in training and not 3 weeks into the job but is being pressured into taking her final test now. Should have been taking it from the start they say. The results of this test determine whether or not she even gets paid her commission and apparently it's a pretty comprehensive test. She has talked with other store managers who themselves are looking for other jobs. But hey, with this job market they have you by the balls and they will give them a squeeze whenever they like. They are an honorless, greed hole of a company.

Comment Re:Innovation has been replaced by litigation (Score 1) 311 311

I dunno. Aren't they already talking about "too fat to fight" being a big problem in the military? I'd hate to see what the American obesity and diabetes rates look like in 2020. Perhaps the unmanned drones solution? But then you're back to that dirty word "innovation" if we're going to get those babies up to snuff to do our fighting for us. Aw damn. They'll probably be made in China with Chinese firmware. It could actually be a bloodless war forfeited right out of the gate. I'm going to learn Mandarin either way.

Comment Re:mmmmm (Score 3, Interesting) 362 362

I remember buying Wolfenstein's shareware edition on a 5.25" disk from a grocery store (Albertsons?) and playing it on my 486 (or was it a 386?) with a Logitech Flightstick. I remember being utterly blown away by this PC game, as opposed to the now tame console games on which I had grown up.

I remember some weeks later seeing tiny screenshots in early previews of id Software's next big thing "Doom" in a PC magazine in Walden Bookstores in the mall. I specifically remember seeing the shotgun and Imp enemy. Hell I remember the specific map, just not by name, pictured in that screenshot. I remember holding the shift key upon rebooting to play this incredible new game.

Gaming, PC and console, has come a long way since then but few titles have captured that same kind of energy. As pretty as their games have been, I miss the id Software of my youth.

Comment This is neat and all... (Score 1, Insightful) 80 80

but it also looks like something a few Google employees could implement themselves in an afternoon by simply looking at the provided demo. Depending of course on what ridiculous patents MS has wrapped up in it. Still I was expecting something at least as impressive as Photosynth. Why aren't they doing anything interesting with that anyway?

Comment Re:Two comments (Score 2, Interesting) 319 319

Netflix is a great example of this. I just love the company. My girlfriend has been a member for years now. They recently added support for streaming on my PS3 and more recently the Wii. No additional charge for this. They even sent us the disc for free. Then we just decided to cut back from having 3 discs out at once to having just the 1. We still get the streaming option with this plan. So really we've started giving them less money for, arguably, more service as we don't even have to wait for the mail now. Of course the selection isn't quite as large yet but still, most of the stuff we want to see is stream-able. Money's getting tight and we might have just canceled the service altogether.

Especially if we didn't just like Netflix. I feel like I'm taken care of with them in a way I can't say many other companies whose goods and services I buy make me feel. Lose a disc in the mail? No problem, we like you so not only are we going to forget about it, we're going to go ahead and promptly send out the next disc in your queue right away. They even do this if a disc is scratched. That is, if you tell them it's scratched. They just go, okay go ahead and mail that one back to us, but in the meantime we're going to send out another disc right away. They don't even wait for the damaged disc to return to them for evaluation. This is a company that values customer satisfaction over their own stock. Because ultimately my satisfaction is more valuable than a few pieces of their stock.

Then there is a company like Blockbuster Video. I was living for a time in a separate town from my girlfriend. So no Netflix for me. There was however a Blockbuster right next to where I worked. I went there occasionally, mostly because I had long had a membership and it was just easier than signing up for a new place. What can I say I'm lazy in odd ways. Then Blockbuster finally decided to get into the online game and I let a cute girl go ahead and sign me up. I figured I could rent some dvds, rip them that night and return them when I went to work in the morning. I powered through entire series of television shows in days and after two months of membership I canceled and had months worth of entertainment to watch at my leisure. I realize I was still giving money to Blockbuster, but I like to think that with all the processing costs I was at least a small loss for them. In fact I seem to recall them hiking their rates around the time I canceled, probably just due to them not fully appreciating the cost of their program, but I like to think that abusive customers like myself had something to do with that.

Because fuck Blockbuster. After years of exorbitant late fees, charging 1/5 the price of a game for a rental, hawking crap at the register, and finally just flat out pulling late fees off my credit card (this unexpected action cost me an overdraft fee or two in my lean college years!), I have slowly built up an attitude of contempt for these guys. I hope they fail in their bid for online and I hope they die a miserable death. I see the Blockbuster sign and I loathe it. I see the Netflix logo and I feel kind of warm. Sooner or later these businesses will come to understand the value of that.

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