Sunday, March 31, 2019


When it comes to the technical aspect of Google Stadia and whether they can really do what they claim, the guys at Digital Foundry will probably have the definitive analysis. But the overall idea of a behemoth entering the industry is probably the more provocative talking point. Google has tremendous resources and while we have seen attempts to do cloud gaming MAYBE Google will be the company that finally cracks it. But whether Google came in with a console or purely on cloud - Google as a player is interesting. They have killed products before, they have tried social multiple times and failed, they have a platform like Android and didn't try to compete on that end like what Apple is doing with Apple Arcade. They announced at GDC, their messaging was aimed at console gamers, their test/demo was Assassin's Creed Odyssey - not a mobile iteration - the full game.

Google is going to have their own studio, the "platform" will probably draw developers - I THINK its a good thing. I understand being dismissive of mobile gamers and the free-to-play model, but Candy Crush and Temple Run attracted gamers who might have never considered gaming and videogames as an entertainment medium is more diverse because of mobile gaming. Google could do something similar and they are operating in a space that might be between mobile and console - IF you frown upon mobile gaming and it STILL produced a title like Monument Valley, imagine what Google Stadia could cultivate.

I don't think Google will kill the industry - by either becoming too big and destroying Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo and then killing the product or by being so horrible that it kills the industry altogether - or anything in between. Yes, I can see how Stadia MAY BE the beginning of the end, but again I doubt it. NaS had a similar sentiment towards hip-hop and was worried that the entire genre would be dismantled by some garbage rappers - releasing an album titled Hip-Hop is Dead. Our medium is not a flash in the pan, it is not a fad, it will survive with or without Google, like Hip-Hop - its established.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Year of the Switch?

Similar to the Wii, the Nintendo Switch is the new and unexpected darling of this console generation - a bunch of publications and pieces fawning over Nintendo's newest system and many calling the Switch Gadget of the Year.

Will developers flock to the Switch? Or will interest wane once the novelty wears off? We will see.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Loot Box Bummer

Always had a problem with micro-transactions in gaming and how it has become even more prevalent with consumers who are now used to it because their first introduction into gaming was via iOS or Android. Another person wrote years ago how its different to download a game for free and unlock levels via micro-transactions versus paying $60.00 for a game and then either not having enough funds to pay for extra levels and/or not having access at the same time somebody who is a lot less skilled than you in the game but has more financial resources. Gaming is already very expensive, but to make it even more of a walled garden exclusively for the player who has unlimited funds is not right.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mario Odyssey

Mario is back on cartridge but now in HDMI - its great. Its no Zelda, but its the Mario you know doing the typical platformer stuff that Nintendo has perfected - jumping, butt stomps, power-ups, etc. 

Its Mario, its excellent.  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Amazon Prime vs Gamers Club Unlocked

Amazon Prime has been my go-to for buying games but because of recent developments, Best Buy's Gamers Club Unlocked has looked a much more viable option for my needs. Buying via the PSN and XBL store has been the trend (especially if you live overseas where its harder to find storefronts that sell the latest games) and it does seem to be the future, but I still like buying the physical version. There is a couple of reasons for this preference:
Can sell and trade-in my games
Can carry down my games to my kids, nieces, nephews, etc.
I don't have to worry about a digital storefront going down or a publisher taking their game off the store.
Can easily carry my game to a friends house
A physical library with cases to browse and display

Now Amazon lately has only offered games to buy via digital code and you haven't been able to pre-order FIFA for example and getting the Prime discount for pre-ordering the physical version. Where GCU is still giving their pre-order discount AND coupling that with an additional $10 gift certificate. Not sure what's causing this issue with Amazon and why it seems to be more prevalent with popular franchises...but as long as it continues to be an issue, I will abandon Prime for my videogame needs.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

FIFA on the Switch

We haven't had a solid footie title on a portable device since the Vita. The Nintendo Switch finally brings a true soccer simulation to a "portable" game console. Playing on a Joy-Con is not ideal, and unless you are carrying multiple Joy-Cons' with the grip, have multiple Switches, and/or multiple Switch Pro controllers - the most likely travel/portable option is 2 player co-op with the split Joy-Cons.

It is uncomfortable and annoying, but its still fun and its an option that we've never really had before - true portable co-op gaming. Yes, you are giving up FIFA 18's story mode and superior graphics on the PS4 and XB1 but the Switch (much like the Wii) is not directly competing with Sony and Microsoft, its almost a companion or complimentary console. Of course its going to be the primary console for many, but that demo understands the trade-offs with the Switch. If you have both (or all 3) systems and want the superior experience than yes - go for the XB1 or PS4 version...but if you want a portable version of FIFA or NBA2K - now that Vita is basically dead - the Switch is the only game in town.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Patch for the Pitch

The Premier League season kicked off earlier this month, they are already 3 games into the season, yet FIFA 18 and Pro Evolution Soccer 18 haven't been released yet. Given that the NFL season hasn't commenced but we have Madden 18 and we will get NBA2K18 out well before the commencement of the new NBA season its kind of bizarre that the two footie games don't come out in preseason. In this age of patches and updates, waiting for the transfer window to close doesn't make much sense - NBA2K18 doesn't wait until the trade deadline to release their game. Its fun to simulate a match the night before or an hour before kickoff where you get the team sheets - follow your team and play the season. This weird period of having the season start and playing the last years version with last years kits and not having the new players is bizarre in 2017 - if you are going to stop updating FIFA/PES 2017, release the new versions before the season starts! Thank God for ProEvo Option Files.