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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in Looking For Sailors - A Gaming Blog's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
7:08 pm
Game Scale


An often ignored feature of the videogame medium is the idea of scale and how we perceive and relate to the virtual environments in our games.  For the most part, game developers have tended to create worlds where the scale is similar to our real world conceptions of space.  Whether you’re fighting alien invaders in Space Marine Shooter 2009 or battling fanciful beasts in an RPG, most of our interactions in videogames are through a human-scaled avatar and world.


Imagine a shootout in a game with a member of team blue loading his weapon to engage you.  Whether we’re talking about Halo 3, GTA4, or Gears of War, it’s usually the case that you’ll be able to judge the virtual distance of your adversary in feet or meters.  Most virtual worlds are crafted around distances and scales easily perceived by real world measures.  For me at least, this has resulted in a dulling and homogenization of the game experience.  As much as Unreal 3 has killed the color palate for games, so too are most modern games creating an implicit set of norms that is limiting the formula for success regarding scale in games.  Even games outside of the first/third person camera perspectives such as RTSs still adhere to real world scales, namely due to the use of familiar assets (space marines, cars, buildings, etc.). 


What I would love to see is developers being more creative with scale.  There are modern examples of this such as Katamari Damacy, Shadow of the Colossus, and Pikmin.  Gone are the creative days of 2-D where a screen filling boss would instill fear in us based on its size alone.  Perhaps allowing us to play with the monsters instead of the human-scaled characters would help.  A focus on smaller/bigger scaled environments would also be a welcome change, where the most immediately relevant asset to a game is neither human nor any object typical of gaming (i.e. cars, robots, etc.).  Videogames is the medium best equipped to provide visceral simulations of non-human scaled worlds and the industry should do more to explore this artistic option.   

Saturday, August 25th, 2007
7:01 pm
In-house BioShock Review
This morning, I completed 1000/1000 gamerscore in BioShock, only 4 days after launch. Needless to say, I've been playing many hours every day since the release. There's so much to say. It's difficult to even attempt a review. But I have to. The people need to be told. BioShock is the best single-player game in years.

Click for 1100 more words on how much I love BioShockCollapse )
Sunday, August 12th, 2007
7:30 pm
Ah, yes, consumer whoring. The American pastime. Cornerstone of Microsoft's crown jewel, Halo 3. The list will truly astound even veteran gamers.


Personally, I will be picking up a couple cases of Game Fuel tomorrow. No question. So, readers, which marketing ploy are you susceptible to?
Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
12:12 pm
African women's blog upset over Resident Evil 5
Via EvAv, Joystiq, GamePolitics, etc.

An African women's blog has registered their displeasure with Resident Evil 5, a game which puts players in the shoes of a Caucasian American (who we all know and love as Chris Redfield) shooting and killing African people (more accurately, they are no longer really human, although it's been stated they are neither zombies nor Ganados) in an African nation. Here's what they had to say:

The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man's job is to destroy them and save humanity. "I have a job to do and I’m gonna see it through."

This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.

I could comment for hours on the layers of wrongness in this statement, but the truth is that Gorvi from EvAv did a flawless job in only 3 sentences:

Of course, she's completely ignoring the fact that the majority of the zombies in the series have been white. Or that in RE4, they were mostly hispanic because of that game's setting. This is the worst kind of knee jerk reaction, being completely ignorant of the subject matter and jumping to try to find racism where there is none.

Would it be less racist if you killed only the white people in Africa? Also, side-note, I am intrigued by the fact that they capitalize "Black" but not "white".

So, what's your take on this, dear readers?
Thursday, July 5th, 2007
5:40 pm
360 Warranty Extension (Part II) and PS3 Price Cut
Two great pieces of news for next-gen fans today.

First, in another great example of how not to act like Sony, Microsoft again extended their warranty for the red ring of death issue to three years. I've already expressed my thoughts on this kind of move in December, so read that and then... I guess multiply by 3.

Second, and only slightly less shocking, the PS3 60GB unit will see a $100 price cut next week. We all knew it was coming, but I'll admit this is a hell of a lot sooner than I expected. I may just have to buy one now, albeit partly for the free movie offer.
Thursday, May 24th, 2007
6:04 pm
Guest Entry: The Problem with 2D Fighters
Well, here's a nice change of pace. A friend of mine asked to contribute a piece, which I immediately agreed to. Seeing the results, I'm quite glad I did. Here's the article, in its original form (well, except some formatting). Enjoy.


"The Problem with 2D Fighters" by rexdart

The way I see it, there are two problems in the 2D fighting community that prevents it from growing beyond its current niche market. All I have to support this is anecdotal evidence, so I'd be happy to hear counter-examples.

1. Fans of 2D fighters are disinclined to try new things.

The 2D fighting genre in itself rewards those who stick to the status quo. I went into a pretty popular arcade recently, and what did I see people playing? Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority were playing Third Strike. A smaller number were playing MvC2 and CvS2. A Guilty Gear Slash and Melty Blood game saw a bit of action, but nothing major. A Capcom Fighting Evolution machine in the corner was turned off.

It's no surprise that fans tend to stick to what they know. In a way, it makes a great deal of sense. In order to become good at a fighting game, you need to invest a great deal of time in learning the mechanics of the game and your character of choice. The problem is that this creates a disincentive to switch to a new game. You have to re-learn your character, re-learn the system, and just hope that you're as good at it as you were at the first game. Why should they invest all that time and effort, when they're winning at the current game they're playing? I certainly can't come up with a logical reason.

You may have encountered people who used to play Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat 2 back in the day. I've met people who were actually surprised to learn that they still made 2D fighters. They also feel that SF2 or MK2 was, unquestionably, the best 2D fighter ever made. I think this is because the earliest 2D fighter fans saw little reason to continue to follow the genre when it only meant they'd lose more often.

Often times, people who continually play as Ryu, Ken, Kyo or Iori are called scrubs. Really, though, why shouldn't they stick to what they know? Learning new characters only means they'll lose more often, and there is no fun in losing, especially when fighting strangers. This leads into the second problem of 2D games. Namely, that learning to play requires a lot commitment.

2. New-comers to the genre face obstacles, and are generally unwelcome.

I suck at first-person shooters. Nonetheless, I've had friends devote a lot of time to trying to teach me how not to suck at Halo. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful, but they had a good reason for attempting this. I was going to be on their team at a Halo party later that day, and they wanted to make sure I didn't suck so they'd have a better chance at winning.

People who suck at 2D fighters have no such benefits. With the exception of some tag-team games, most 2D fighters are one on one. Even when I've tried to teach my friends to get better at them, they often accuse me of just using them as a body to beat up. Otherwise, they just grow frustrated and give up. Those without friends to help them just get told they suck.

A part of this problem is that much of the learning process in fighting games is pure memorization. It's nothing intuitive about a ninety-degree motion forward on the joystick in combination with a punch button producing a fireball. Fans have simply memorized it to the point that it seems intuitive. But for different characters in different games, the same motion can produce any number of actions. Not only that, but new-comers must learn an entirely new lingo just to begin to memorize these actions. Consider this exchange between a friend and me when playing Third Strike:

Friend: "What's his super move!?"

Me: "It's double quarter-circle forward punch."

Friend: "That means nothing to me!"

In an FPS, if someone tells you to shoot your enemy in the head, it's the same basic action no matter what game you're playing. In a turn-based RPG, if you want to use a healing item, it's essentially the same action. Sure the interface or button-mapping might be different, but it takes a short time to get around them. However, trying to do a super move involves actual research.

None of this is helped by the fact that fans will either not want to play with them or tell them that they suck while they try to learn the mechanics of the game.

Another issue at work here is that an increasing amount of gamers (casual gamers, if you will) are not action gamers. Fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination (what fighting games most require) are two things this new breed of gamer does not have. Gamasutra posted an excellent article by Ernest Adams on the problems faced by the action genre. It's a good read if you have the time.

My prognosis?

2D fighters are teh DOOOOOOOOOMED!!

No, but seriously. They face some incredible challenges if they ever want to expand beyond the niche genre they've become. As is, there are good reasons why game companies would be wise to abandon the genre and why newcomers would be inclined to ignore it.

I would love to see more tag-team games to try to reduce some of the alienation involved in getting into a fighter. More importantly, I feel that fans need to realize that 2D fighters are not just unpopular because of "graphic whores" or "those damn kids with their GTA." As hard as it may be, I think fans should try to be more sensitive to n00bs.


ATMA NOTE: I will point out that a lot of people in the arcade that night were practicing for a tournament, so the results were a bit skewed, but the trend is definitely real regardless. I don't have too much else to add or detract, as I mostly agree, I just wonder whether most 2D fighting fans are really all that eager to expand the demographic.
Friday, March 30th, 2007
11:31 am
Two New Halo 2 Maps
Two new maps, both available on April 17th through the Halo 2 downloader in the game itself, and it's just $4 for the pair.The maps are Tombstone and Desolation - remakes of Hang 'Em High and Derelict, respectively.

Wow. Surprising (and cool) to see map support this close to the Halo 3 beta. Personally, Hang 'Em High was always my favorite Halo 1 map, so I will most definitely be buying these.

Via bungie.net
Sunday, February 18th, 2007
12:30 am
Yet another reason to buy a Wii.
Suda 51 (creator of Killer7) gave a very interesting interview about his upcoming Wii title, No More Heroes. Being a huge Killer7 fan, I am extremely excited about NMH and was very interested in what he had to say about it. Check out some excerpts:

Suda: Yes, it is true. My former job was as an undertaker.

Suda: In my opinion, the highest form of art is the existence ofvideogames.

Suda: No More Heroes is not an "on-rails"-style adventure game. It is a free running/roaming style action game... No More Heroes is a genuine action... but it hardly uses the wireless remote controller... The basic tactic is to attack with A button. The finishing move/attack is made by using the motion of the Wii controller. It is totally a different type of game from Killer 7.

IGN Wii: Who is your favorite videogame designer?

Suda: Erick Chahi. I am also a fan of Kojima-san and Mikami-san, and at the same time I respect them very much

IGN Wii: There is word that you're planning to work with Hideo Kojima on a game for Wii known only as 'Project S.' Is this true?

Suda: I am sorry, but I can't make any comments on this.

IGN Wii: Is Project S a sequel to the classic franchise Snatcher?

Suda: I am sorry, but I can't make any comments on this either.

Suda: I'll also try my best to make No More Heroes as violent, or even more violent than Manhunt 2!

Check out the full interview here.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2007
1:50 pm
Note: May get your site shut down.
Enjoy 1'15" of terrible-quality leaked Halo 3 multiplayer footage.

If you can get past the utterly abysmal video, there are a few interesting things to note: 1. the new character class, 2. the modified HUD, and 3. the new medal notification system. Granted we had some ideas about this before, but seeing them is kind of cool.
Friday, December 22nd, 2006
10:24 pm
360 Warranty Extension
Via EvilAvatar, Engadget, etc.

In what is a shockingly generous gesture by a normally heartless corporation, today Microsoft announced the immediate, permanent, and retroactive extension of the Xbox 360's warranty. The new warranty covers ALL 360s purchased (including ones already rejected due to out of warranty) to one year after the purchase date. Supposedly they will even be issuing cash refunds to many of the people who paid for repairs. This is excellent news for everyone experiencing the red ring of death after the latest update, as well as the rest of us who are just plain unlucky.

As for me, I'm just glad I can finally check out Gears of War.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
12:53 am
Orchestral Gaming
Another entry? So soon? Shocking. This is a tribute to the oft-underrated aspect of gaming, the music. Recently, we've seen a rise in gaming music (even from the old MIDI days) being recreated by genuine, bonafide orchestras. I've compiled this handy viewing list of YouTube clips from well known or simply awesome instances of game music being played by professionals. Enjoy.

5. The Legend of Zelda Theme - An excellent example of the power of live game music, the Zelda theme is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The only reason it's #5 is because there's nothing particularly special about the performance. Still an awesome watch/listen.

4. Akira Yamaoka performing the Silent Hill 2 Theme - An astounding performance. The one and only Akira Yamaoka giving a once in a lifetime live guitar rendition of Theme of Laura. This is amazing not only for its rarity, but also because of Yamaoka's absolutely flawless guitar work. People familiar with the song will confirm, he never misses a single note, not even during the fast part at the end.

3. Michiru Yamane performing Wood Carving Partita - (The track was originally titled Wood Carved Piatta, I wonder what happened there?) For the same reason as #4, this track is unique because it features the original composer playing the track for a live audience for the first and last time anywhere. This has always been a personal favorite of mine from the Castlevania - Symphony of the Night OST (best soundtrack in gaming history, by the way), and the live performance does not disappoint in the least. Yamane proves she's one of the best in the business. On a harpsichord, no less.

2. The Metal Gear Solid 2 Theme - For some reason, this is labeled as "Metal Gear Solid Music", but any true Kojima fan can immediately identify this as the MGS2 theme. #2 because of the greatness of the source work, but more importantly, the element of showmanship in the presentation. My only wish is that they would've used the MGS3 ending instead, as the MGS2 theme is rather anticlimactic.

1. Final Fantasy VI's Dancing Mad - Many Final Fantasy fans will tell you One-Winged Angel is the best Uematsu composition, and I certainly wouldn't argue with them. But for my money, Dancing Mad is simply the best music ever to come out of an RPG. Period. The vocals and organ work in this performance are spot on, and what makes it more remarkable is that this was all drawn from a MIDI file. It really demonstrates the talent of the man who envisioned this fantastic music, even when the medium was not available. Unfortunately, this clip is not the full performance, as I would love to hear more.

So, that's my list. If you have any you think are worthy that aren't here, please comment. I'm always looking for more.
1:32 pm
Japanese Wii Launch: No Problem...desu
So unexciting in fact that I won't be bother to upload and post the two pictures I took, but I did say I would update so let's do it.

I went to the same place I bought a PS3 at three weeks earlier, a Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku. I arrived at around the same time I did for the PS3 (5pm Friday) but to a completely different atmosphere from the scene three weeks ago. There were maybe 20 people or so hanging around the PS3 demo kiosks and not a hint of disorder or excitement that increased exponentially thoughout the night for the PS3. I walk into the store, find the lone Wii kiosk and read the sign: "Wii will be sold at 7am 12/2. For those who will be lining up, we will begin at 8pm." Ahh so that's why! There was no such system used for the PS3 launch so everyone was kind of forced to stick around until the white-vested Yodobashi minions planted a stake into the cement to officially commence the all night geek out.

So I scurried along to go kill a few hours (and that's a whole 'nother story in itself) and arrive back at 7:45. The crowd has increased...but only by about 20 people. What the fuck? Ads on every damn train station, every commercial break and the power of the DS lite couldn't draw more than 40 people to stay out overnight? The white-vest says to go to the other side of the building and start the line. I praddle along with my Big Mac value meal and watch as a few make a valiant sprint for the starting line. As I turn the corner, however, I see a line bigger than 40 people. In fact quite a packed line it was and as I walk by it and its size increased, my feet picked up the pace and the mutterings of "fucking damnit!" began. Where were all these people before? Why'd they get to line up so early? Rather than assault a white-vest with a greasy big mac I decide to just let it go and rest it all on the fact that this place should be getting thousands of Wii's.

What didn't hurt were the two cute Japanese girls in front of me in the line. DS's in hand playing Pokemon and Mario Kart on and off, these girls hinted at that wider demographic Nintendo's all about fellating nowadays. In fact there were quite a lot of girls...and they weren't even Chinese girls standing next to one Chinese dude hoping to make a killing off of Yahoo Auctioning this shit (which, yes, were the people I was next to for the PS3 launch, and no I don't mean to be racist by mentioning this). There were old people and a lot of middle aged women. Still a fair share of otaku-geeks but nowhere near the cock rockin' line of the PS3.

I load up the DS and hit the pictochat to see if anyone is on. There are a couple and unlike three weeks ago they're excited and talking about stuff. People wanted Zelda and Wii Sports it seemed. They were also raving about Blue Dragon and how they wanted a 360, I shit you not. When I told them I had a 360 they freaked out and told me how cool that is. Maybe these were just the hardcore gamers but I still found it quite a shock to hear this. Watch out next week for 360 console and Blue Dragon sales, it's the last push MIcrosoft is gonna have here before its fate is sealed...maybe.

Around 10:30 the line starts moving....huh? Moving? Midnight launch surprise, ftw? No actually, they were passing out the Wii tickets and launch item stock list; grab your ticket and come back tomorrow and pick it up. Anytime tomorrow. Sleep all fucking day if you want, your Wii will be protected in our Trojan guarded defense facilities. Fuck yes! No delusional 4am twitching, no MacDonald's bathroom runs! It turns out the reasoning might have to do with the changing weather. 3 weeks ago I braved the Tokyo fall with only a light sweater but last night despite the addition of a long sleeved shirt and a beanie I was getting the shivering shakes real bad. Frozen customers can't buy nothing as Matt and Trey taught us.

I return the next day at 10pm. Maybe about 4 or 5 people waiting in line. I hand them the list of the stuff I want (apparently the Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and Wii Remote w/o Wii Play aren't on sale yet) and get the machine, a Remote and COMPONENT CABLES(haha!) for about $300. No pushing, no sleeplessness. The fun and simple theme of the Wii carried on through to the Japan launch.

And if you're wondering why I got not games, well this isn't my system you see. I bought it for a friend and only the remote and component cables are mine. I get to stand in yet another line in a few days when I return to the states to get myself an ass hauling, freedom fighting, American Wii. I can only hope it'll go this smoothly.
Monday, November 20th, 2006
7:31 pm
8.8 ain't great
I won't get into this as deeply as I want to due to time constraints but I'll try and explain the most important points of this whole fiasco.

Gamespot released a bomb this past week of proportions that can be labeled as nothing short of "megaton" The long awaited Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess was rated an 8.8 by the website. The aftermath resulted in an orgy of fanboy outcry attacking not just the website that endorses the review but the man who wrote it as well. On the other end of the spectrum we have the not often talked about anti-fanboys, the white knights of the internet message boards. Though rarely analyzed as the trolls they truly are, they've taken this occasion to further reinforce how inferior and childish the Nintendo fanboy is to them.

There have been at least two editorials(one by Vladimir Cole from Joystiq...and the other one linked by Cole somewhere on Joystiq, heh) that I know of floating around the i'tubes decrying the Nintendo fanbase and their actions and temperament. While I agree this whole incident has been truly pathetic to bear witness, the bulk of people's arguments against the NDF(the Nintendo Defense Force for those not in the know) are flawed at best and serve only to show the existence of the "hater" within these detractors.

"It's just an opinion." Here's just an opinion: I don't really like Half-Life and its sequel. From what I've stomached enough to play I would give the game a 7 at best...do your hear that? No? Exactly. The internet is still working because no one gives a toss what I believe. No one knows me or this blog and we do not have a reputation in any sense of the word. Gamespot, on the hand, is a pretty big website. They have intelligent writing, get great exclusives on the industry and have generally been a great resource for gamers for well over a decade. Gamespot's opinion matters more than mine and more than yours.

"8.8 is a great score, get over it." 8.8 is a great score for most games. Zelda is not "most games." Halo is not most games. Half-life is not most games. You think if either of these franchises had their next iteration rated an "8.8" that the same people disgusted by the so called zealotry of the Nintendo fanbase wouldn't turn right around and throw a hissy fit? These games are recognized by fans, journalists, and the industry as the very best this hobby has to offer. 8.8 is great but it's not a score that games of this caliber are expected. We all understand that these games exist on a different realm from the normal and even the very good games. But when an event like this happens the haters enjoy validating their own bias and procceed to forget the history and place that a Zelda game deserves. This isn't to say that Zelda and GTA and all these games deserve instant 10s upon release but rather to emphasize why a fan is likely to be distraught by seeing such a score. It is the duty of Gamespot to give is their honest opinion, and they did. Had all the big reviews rated Zelda an "8.8" or somewhere in that region then they would be validated but as it stands, Gamespot has given far and away the lowest review. Anyway, this is getting too deep into the actual argument and specifics with the review so we'll leave it here.

"Scores don't matter." Yes they do. I'm not about to let this score decide whether or not I purchase TP but it is absolutely foolish to begin suggesting that review scores bear no significance. Games like any other art form are subjective and open to interpretation; that doesn't mean that gamers don't long for some manner of objectivity, some way of solidifying our opinions and beliefs by relaying it to the experts. Game Rankings and Rotten Tomatoes: two examples of how inherently interpretive mediums have borne a system for finding some manner of order in a sea of subjective opinions. Not to mention that gaming in particular loves to deal in fanboyism and online pissing contests. Scores are the beer that supply the drunken foolishness that is an internet gaming message board. Scores matter.

Just a few things to consider. The amount of hypocrisy that has resulted from the result of the 8.8 is nothing new. I do believe there is a basis for criticizing the Nintendo fans for their behavior but most have not intelligently pursued that avenue. At the same time I feel the outcry to the 8.8 has some merit to it as well. Time will quickly let us forget what has happened this past week but this is a scene that will repeat itself again. So why even bother...
Sunday, November 19th, 2006
9:40 am
"Live"blogging the Wii line.
This is the tale of my adventure at the local Target, in my desperate attempt to purchase a Nintendo Wii. Enjoy!

20:10 - I take some NyQuil in the hopes it will help me sleep.
21:00 - I call Target to confirm. There are already almost 40 people lined up. Well shit. There's only 69 units at the store.
21:50 - Still not asleep. Dammit.
01:50 - Awake. Three hours sleep is not enough, but I have to leave if there's to be any hope.
02:10 - I'm at Target. I don't know how many people there are, I'd guess 50.
02:55 - Unfortunately, due to being completely exhausted, that game of Lumines II only lasted 45 minutes. I really need to kill more time.
04:00 - Phoenix Wright 2 has been filling the gap fairly well. God, it's cold. I hope the sun rises soon...
04:45 - Still no sun. Man, I'm a bit surprised more people haven't showed up. Seriously, only like four people have come after me so far.
05:00 - They just came on the PA and told us to wake up. Maybe they'll pass out the tickets soon?
05:10 - Just gave up my Guilty Gear attempt. The cold puts me in no mood to fight Order Sol. Goddammit, sun, rise! Why didn't I bring a blanket or something?
05:25 - It's only been 15 minutes since that last update? Ugh. NWS shows sunrise isn't for another hour. Well, back to Phoenix Wright.
05:45 - The cops just showed up. I wonder what they want.
05:47 - And there they go. Godspeed, gentlemen!
06:45 - Sun's been up for a bit, still cold. Really hoping they pass out the tickets soon. Turns out I'm pretty close to the inventory cutoff. Goddamn, I hope I haven't wasted my morning.
07:05 - They're reading us the standard crap. Tickets soon. Did I make it?
07:15 - THANK YOU, JESUS. #50 of 69. Just gotta wait for 8:00 for them to open officially.
07:25 - Free Coke. That's awfully nice of them.
08:00 - GOOD TO GO.
08:15 - Slow line is sloooooooooow.
08:50 - So close now...
09:05 - Seven hours after arrival, I am sitting in my car with Wii in hand. It feels damn good, but not as good as sleep will.

Well, that's it folks. I got myself a Wii, and now I take my leave.
Thursday, November 16th, 2006
10:29 pm
PS3 Hardware Breakdown
Source: DPAD

I do hate to kick off the blog with two entries in a row bashing the PS3, but honestly there's not a lot of good news for Sony fans. Read the article, it talks about all the PS3's hardware features, and how little they benefit gamers. Here are a couple of the more relevant portions:

The PS3’s cell processor has 1 Power PC core similar to that of the 3 Power PC cores sustaining the 360’s 3 core design and 7 SPE (synergistic processing element). The 8th is disabled to improve yields. One of the SPE is used to run the PS3’s operating system while the other 6 are available for games.

Basically what this means is that no matter what, the games running on the PS3 will be completely unable to touch a full 1/4 of the CPU's power. Compare this to the approximate 1/100 of the CPU reserved for the 360's OS (3% of one of three cores).

Maybe Blu Ray will lead to longer games? Blue Dragon for the 360 has over 40 hours worth of gameplay and Elder Scrolls Oblivion has over 120 hours worth of gameplay. Then compression needs to be taken into consideration which has come a very long way and it’d be wise not to underestimate the real-time decompression abilities of these new consoles. Blu-Ray doesn’t necessarily mean developers will have no need to compress their game data because compression can help improve load times.

This is probably my biggest annoyance with the PS3. The Blu-ray drive alone accounts for between 1/4 and 1/3 of the overall unit cost and is single-handedly responsible for the massive production delays we've seen. And for what? More storage which (as of now) is completely unnecessary? Until someone can demonstrate a case in which we need 30 GB of data for a single game, I will stand by this claim. Now, will I eventually want a Blu-ray drive? Maybe, but not in my game console. If you want to use the PS3 to watch high-def movies, by all means, but I'd appreciate it if it didn't needlessly drive up the cost of my gaming enjoyment.

There are a lot of other things to consider, such as the PS3's last-gen graphics architecture and lack of system RAM, but none of that's important. As any real gamer will tell you, it's about the games. To paraphrase one of the most honest gamers I've ever seen: "I could buy the PS3 premium unit, all the accessories, and Metal Gear Solid 4. Then, I beat MGS4 and smash everything I just bought. It would still be worth every penny." And that's the bottom fucking line.

Hi, my name's Atma, and I'm a Kojima fanboy.
Friday, November 17th, 2006
12:21 pm
PS3 shipments lessened? Lube, doubled
Source: Gamasutra

According to one analyst, Sony won't be able to meet the slim yet agreeable 400k units they promised us. As low as 400k may be, we all seemed to have come to terms with it; after all, that's four times more than Sony's native country Japan received last week and 400k more than Europe will ever see for many moons to come. But this week we also receved word of Gamestop lowering its expected numbers and once again letting its pre-orders know that they may not be filled on the 19th of this month.

And people are still excited for this thing? I don't get it. How hard and how much does Sony have to stick it into some people to make them realize this is a botched launch. The PS3 is NOT ready for mass market sale. As someone put it on the 1up Yours Podcast (Luke I think it was) "November 19th marks the beginning of Sony's PS3 Launch Awareness Campaign." It lasts for a year; the real launch comes next year with the games actually worth giving a damn about and a stock beyond the virtual confines of eBay. Look at the 360 for proof.

So don't be excited for a PS3. Don't be sad that you won't get to spend $600+ this year for a system that hasn't earned its place in anyone's living room. A lot of people are saying it's the hardcore gamers who are going out there to freeze in the winter winds of their local outlet mall, but that's bullshit. The real gamers know well enough that PS3's launch lineup is typical throwaway fare that we'd be hard pressed to remember a year from now. The only worth the PS3 has at this point is as a cheap Blu-Ray player, and that's perfectly acceptable if you're into that. In terms of games(which I thought this whole hobby was all about), your money is best spent elsewhere this season.

And don't blame the people buying consoles to sell on eBay. "Oh noes these sick capitalists are taking systems away from the real gamers." Fuck off. The only reason these people exist are because there are people stupid enough to buy a console that isn't worth buying yet to begin with. If everyone just came to terms with what the lack of fervor the PS3 deserves then all those eBayers would be so screwed. Your irrational excitement fuels their rational greed; it just sucks that they're better campers than you.
Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
12:14 am
Looking for Sailors
Hey. Welcome. Glad you found your way. This is Looking for Sailors, live on the air.

I'll get a more proper introduction going later, but for now all you need to know is that we talk about video games. At great length if needed. We're on the lookout for contributors, so feel free to comment on the stories we post. If we like your style, who knows, maybe you too can join the illustrious ranks of unpaid gaming bloggers.

So, that about does it for the brief intro. Expect a few real entries coming soon.

- Atma
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