To The Editor: As always, Escapist delivers. The webmag is a welcome break during afternoons spent studying biology. Thanks!
– Chris C
In response to “The Stagnant State” from The Escapist Forum: PC gaming in general has stagnated. Most games that come out now are much prettier, shallower, bug infested games that we all played years ago.
A good article and a take I hadn’t thought of before.
The only flaw I could see is your Starcraft example. I can easily envision Blizzard devotees buying Starcraft ’08 if it contained an extra race and some extra maps and thinking they got good value for $60. It may not work forever, but I think Blizzard could easily follow that path and rake in some extra money – the cost would be the slow erosion of what people think of the Blizzard brand, of course (as has happened with Madden) but it wouldn’t stop people from buying their games en masse.
And, sadly, I think the gaming media would happily fall in line behind that as they currently do with sports games.
In response to “Peanuts and Crackerjack” from The Escapist Forum: You failed to mention a major issue with today’s baseball games: licensing.
The problem with the baseball games out today is that they simply are terrible. 2k sports and the rest of them can’t seem to get it right. In 2005, EA made MVP baseball and in my opinion, as well as those of my friends, it was the greatest thing since RBI Baseball. Then EA lost the license and MVP was no longer made. I’ve tried to play 2k and it is simply the sloppiest game i have ever seen. Glitches in RBI are endearing; glitches in modern games are infuriating. Until EA gets the license back, baseball games will continue to blow.
EA can have their MLB license back if they relinquish the NFL and ESPN licenses, which destroyed Sega’s ESPN NFL 2K series. I’m surprised they didn’t manage to trademark “2K” as well. EA ruined football games.
2K eventually came back with a heavily disappointing and half-assed title about the all-time greats, so we actually might’ve not been missing much had they actually been still allowed to make NFL games.
The same can be said about EA’s baseball entries. I played EA’s MVP 07 NCAA Baseball, and it was choppy garbage. It was actually LESS polished than their MVP 2005 entry, the AI was dumb as a brick, the commentary was horrible and flat, and the mini games were just exact ports from MVP 2005, right down to the tractors. Their home run durby from Triple Play Baseball, a first generation PS2 title, was more innovative and fun than what they put out in their new games. You could have a derby in a giant-sized living room, where you could break stuff like giant TVs and windows. Why couldn’t they just bring THAT back?
If you want a great MLB game, try Sony’s title. It’s superb on PSP, at the least. On gamerankings, the PSP title has an 84 and the PS3 is at 77.
– Still Lee
In response to “The Oldest Game on Earth” from The Escapist Forum: Excellent article Pat, and I have to agree with your concerns over the next UFC videogame iteration; which, by the way, is slated for 2009, i believe. I, myself, train in Jiu Jiutsu, not Brazilian though, and I have to agree that the ground game is so unbelievably complex that an entire game could easily be built on just that. Anyone whose ever tried to submit a high ranking Juju fighter knows how fast things go sour, especially when their groundwork is up to snuff. I’m curious though how a developer could implement the different ‘stances’ in a ground game. Gaurd, half guard, side control, and so forth and the different counter attacks from those positions would take a long time to learn the buttons for and even longer if you didn’t know the game. I guess what I’m trying to say is that ‘fans’ of the UFC (or pride or bodawg or whatever you watch) who don’t really know what goes on on a technical level may have trouble understanding how to play a properly designed MMA game.
Still, I remember an interview with one of the Gracie boys who explained Jiu Jitsu as a branching art – that every move you’re opponent makes offers numerous counter attacks. And for every counter attack you make there are numerous ways your opponent can respond, much like the way a tree branches out. Can this be done in a game?