Saturday, April 30, 2011

How Would A New Daytona USA Fare? WTF?

This is Part 2.  Please read Part 1 first if you haven't alreadyThe second part appears before the first so you have to scroll around, I apologize.

Now, let's play pretend for a second.  Let's say that, in the near future, Sega announces a new "Daytona USA" game.  It'll have content from Daytona 1, Daytona 2, Scud Race, and Virtua Racing in it.  The game is released.  How will it do?

Part of the reason I say this is because games NEED to sell well to be worthwhile.  It's not just about good reviews from Gamespot, Giant Bomb, etc.  People need to like it.  Now I remember a while back how in that IGN Crazy Taxi review where he slammed the game because there exists the stark contrast between it and "ten years of real racing innovation."  I know this is IGN we're talking about, but still, I can tell that more people feel the same way about this game.  Also, look at OutRun 2.  Didn't sell well.  OOA is getting taken off XBL in 2012.  Sega Rally Revo is a bust.  Et. al...

About this new Daytona game, there is VERY LITTLE CHANCE that Sega's going "all-in" and revamping the whole entire game (much less add new cars/tracks) so it's going to look outdated.  Sega just can't exert that much energy on anything nowadays (unless it's Sonic).  Look at all the Sega ports on XBL--bare-bones or rushed.  Consider that OutRun 2006 didn't have that much more content than the original arcade cabinet and Sega rode OR2 for such a long time (many re-releases).  Like here's what Daytona 2 really looks like under the hood:

Please bear in mind that this game is 13 years old.  This isn't like taking a NFS game from 2010 and rehashing it in 2011, this is old ass crap we're talking about.  Now Daytona 2 has managed to defy modern-day graphics for a long time because of its framerate and other slick, innovative designs (thanks to the Model3 board), but you're starting to notice the difference these days.  Like compare this 13 year old game to this 1 year old game (Forza 3):

Let's compare Daytona USA to the big boys now, shall we?  Here's the good:

* FORZA 4!!!  OH MY GOD, take a look at all 400,000 polygons in each car!!!  Such realistic driving physics!!!  You can now use the Kinect to drive the car (just like that piece of crap Kinect Joy Ride)!!!  OMG THIS IS THE FUTURE OF RACING PEOPLE!!!

* MOTORSTORM: APOCALYPSE!!!  8.5 REVIEW ON GAMESPOT!!!  So awesome to drive around an earthquake-ridden city--never mind the fact that people have died in real-life earthquakes like those in Japan, Chile, Haiti, and New Zealand!!!  Run over those foot soldiers!!!  Kill, crash, and scrape your way to the finish line!!!

* NEED FOR SPEED...MY GOODNESS, CRITERION AND ELECTRONIC ARTS ARE GODS!!!  Now they're coming out with another NFS game called "The Run(s)!"

No way, I've never played a game like this before!  You run from the cops and drive cross-country, just like in Cruis'n USA or, better yet, OutRun 2: SP!!  Story mode galore as you flip over on railroad tracks and try to avoid getting killed!!!  BRILLIANT!!!  Just like Ridge Racer: Unbounded where you get to crash into stuff in exotic sports cars too!!!

EDIT: * MARIO KART!!  It's Super Mario.  And It's Nintendo.  No debate there, folks.  Overpowered Bikes and Snaking?  No worries cause haters gonna hate.

* TRACKMANIA 2!!!  Uh, it's looks kind of cool, not gonna use my sarcasm on this one cause it reminds me of San Francisco Rush.

* SPLIT/SECOND!!!  BURNOUT!!!  FAST AND THE FURIOUS!!!  Oooooooohhh yyeeeaaahhh!!!!

And now for the bad:

* These niche racers that have come out that try to retain some sanity--oh man, these suck.  NASCAR 2011?  Crap.  F1 2010?  Crap.  Test Drive Unlimited?  Mega crap.  Days of Thunder?  No one cares.  Hey, blame it on gamer bias or the devs stinking it up, but that's just the way it is.

* DAYTONA the hell is this.  Now I remember playing this in the arcades once, but damn, what the hell's going on here.  Game is too bright and the cars slip and slide too much.  Why am I driving a stock car?  NASCAR sucks cause all you do is turn left!!  The graphics suck!!  This game is too hard and you can't even die in the game!!  Boooo!!!  Don't you people at Sega know that racing games have undergone great innovation in the last ten/fifteen years?  GET OUT OF HERE!!!  Now, where's my Mountain Dew...

So here's how Sega should improve Daytona USA:

* Tone down the color saturation a few notches.  Colorful games are BAD, remember?

* You do drifts to get NITROUS boosts, just like in Ridge Racer.

* Add cool hip-hop/punk music and funky announcers.

* Make it so you can total cars (yours and others) to the point they can't drive anymore.  When you blow up, you respawn back on road.

* Increase the car's skidpad ratings so you can take every turn at full speed--no skill required.  Hey, it defeats the purpose of drifting, but who carez?!?!?

* Get rid of the race timer!!  We want to drive forever and don't want to be held back because we were sucking so bad.

* Add police cars/chases.  Add a monetary counter to display how much money's worth of damage you've dealt to yourself and your environment.  Add explosions.  Add oncoming traffic.

* Get rid of all stock cars--remember, NASCAR sucks and is redneck garbage.  Replace them with generic sports/luxury cars (not like Scud Race's ones, but over-the-top Burnout stuff).

* Add a story line.  You're a cool dude who's trying to avenge your father's death or win an underground race tournament to make some money and pick up chicks.  You must compete against snotty Europeans and witty Asian guys as they try to set up death traps to take you out.  Hire a bunch of Hollywood writers to churn out the next big Spike VGA's winner!!

* Trash the whole entire game together and just get EA/Criterion to make another Burnout.



Screw it.  I know that there's a sleeping giant out there who wants a good wholesome racer that has variety, intensity, and brings something new to the table.  Graphics be damned--look at this GameFAQs poll on 4/28/11 about graphics: 48% say story/gameplay is much more important; 38% it's somewhat important; and 14% say it makes or breaks the game.  So what is it?  You are stoked about highly-detailed environments and rich cutscenes, but when it comes to the gameplay, you can't help but grieve over every minute detail.

Hopefully, the success of Sega Rally Online Arcade will be just a start.  We can do it, guys.

Now, I said this on the OOA board, and I'll say it here.  We're getting a new Daytona USA game in 2014.  Why?  Cause it's the 20th anniversary of the original (1994).  And if Sonic can get a special release every anniversary, why not Daytona USA get at least one?  I'm going to prod Sega with a stick until they do.  The end.

How Would A New Daytona USA Fare? Prelude

This topic ignited a few days back when I was making my usual Daytona 2 image/media rounds on Google, trying to find anything new.  Fortunately, since the Supermodel emulator popped up, we've been saturated with new game pics.  These are some of my pics.

But that's not the point because I found an interesting article back in 2007.  We're talking about Sega Rally Revo and how it was coming out.  Check out this long article on Neogaf.  Track deformation, tons of cars, good eye candy, etc.  You'd think ex-employees of Codemasters, Criterion, Rare and Rockstar North could bang out that dream Sega Rally game but it fizzled rather quickly, mostly because they screwed up the physics, etc.  Averaged about a 7/10 rating and you can find it on the super discount racks these days.

But in that article there's a little goodie dropped in there to please the fans.  Here's one line from this article:

Perhaps we’ll give some false hope to die-hard fans with our next comment, but what the hell: when asked by other members of the press whether or not the next project of this company will be Daytona USA, we were met with a “maybe”. Mark Fisher also replied with a “who knows!”, when asked if there’ll ever be an arcade version of this new SEGA Rally.

This quote became the subject of debate on this Team Xbox forum topic.  I'm fairly certain there are other threads out there like this one, but I can't find them all.  Use this as a microcosm of people's opinions.  Some people want just Daytona USA Xbox Live play, some want more than that (Scud Race, Daytona 2), but some don't want the game at all because Sega would screw it up.  It's worth mentioning that AM2's original staff probably doesn't work anymore (Nagoshi NEVER expresses any interest in Sega racers, Osaki is invisible, Suzuki is going around teasing that Shenmue sequel, etc.) so we don't know if Sega is competent even if they have the energy/motivation to work on it (that's where the Sega fanbase comes in to pick up the slack...hopefully).

There is one thing everyone was unanimous in saying--that Sega wouldn't make it.  We've heard the word "maybe" before.  We heard it from Toshihiro Nagoshi back in 2004.  We've also heard it from Yu Suzuki in 2011 about the new Shenmue.  And all these promises that the new Sonic games will be good.  I mean, really, does anyone take Sega seriously anymore?

EDIT: An aside here, folks.  Wait a second, another promise that comes to mind is all these new Dreamcast XBLA ports that were supposed to be released by Summer 2011.  See article from June 2010.

Earlier today at E3, we asked Sega West president Mike Hayes how many Dreamcast titles he expected to have on the service by this time next year.  His reply will warm the heart of Dreamcast lovers everywhere.  "We hope to have somewhere between 18 to 24. Around that."

And it's May 2011 and all we got were four DC games from the Sega Classics Collection (five if you count Soul Calibur, but that's Namco's game).  EDIT: Forgot a few more like Ikaruga and Rez, thanks Alex.  I know he said "hope" but still, "hope" ain't good enough.  In retrospect, what a BIG letdown.  Promise at minimum 18 games but only deliver FOUR....err,eight I guess??  Wow, don't set such high benchmarks if you have no chance of meeting them.  Even if we do extend this deadline by a couple of years, I don't see Sega spitting out fourteen more ports at this rate.  But I'm just going to go with the assumption that Mike Hayes was grabbin his stupid peelz and thus fired off a random integer from the hip not knowing if Sega could reach the mark.

But that it's 2011, I think everyone's hopes of that new Daytona are practically dead.  From 2011 then on, it's been a big tease.  Hey, we already talked about assorted messages from fans back in the 00's.  Sega Racing Classic was supposedly a grand return to Daytona's roots, but it was just a remake.

As for today, we are getting something new--Sega Rally Online Arcade!  Only has five tracks, thirteen cars, and is a small project at best.  Basically a reworked version of Revo.  Yes, it will be fun, but if you think this game will be "loaded," I doubt it.  This site is saying May 18 but I'm not 100% sure it's true.

Since this is a complicated topic, I'm going to start another post in order to get my thoughts straight.

Click here for Part 2.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Living On Candy Bars And Black Ops (And PS3 Hackers)

Mmm, these mini Crunch bars are really good.  You know, you ought to run over to Wall-Mart and check out all the discounted candy they have.  I still assume they have it.  Just cause it's not Easter doesn't mean you can't eat candy.


But anyway...for some mini-news.  Nintendo is gonna release a new console in 2012 and everyone assumes it will crush this current lineup of consoles.  I don't care; it will probably be just a Wii 2.0, kind of like how the 3DS is an upgraded DS.  Blahblahblah, Sony and MS are probably going to release new consoles in 2014 so I really wonder how much better these games will look and what will happen to our old 360/PS3 accounts (achievement points, DLC, etc.).  Eh, I don't think it'll be as pretty as everyone suggests.  I really don't know how much better these consoles can get now.

Virtual reality?  Not like Virtua Racing/Fighter, CERTAINLY NOT Virtual Boy, but actual virtual reality?  What a load of crap.  Stick to your little iPhone games, people.  That's the future of gaming--little $2 apps...

Speaking of the PS3, which has been hacked BTW, this is not the first time the server's gone down.  Oh my, how much we gamers rely on these servers to run our consoles.  Ok, I've already talked about the "servers going down = RIP console" theory over and over again.  I hardly ever use my PS3 other than to play Blu-Ray movies (even then I hate movies so I never use it at all, HA).


EDIT: Turns out this PS3 breach may be a bigger f'n deal than normal.  Potential security info like passwords ,addresses, credit card numbers, etc..  1.4 of the 77 mil PS3 accounts hacked.  Now imagine if something happened to your trophies/achievement points, then I would be pissed.  EDIT AGAIN: UK Resistance is alive again!! Only to take advantage of their blissful dream come true.

Funny enough, there is a game by Introversion Software called Uplink (click for demo/pics).  You play as a hacker who steals money from banks, data from big companies, court evidence, etc.  You control the "desktop" of a hacker, trying to use password crackers and stuff while racing against the clock before security catches up on you.  Nowhere near as "severe" as Introversion's other game, Defcon: Everybody Dies, but when you consider the implifications of a company rep coming out to say, "Hey everybody, we just lost hundreds of millions of dollars/user accounts overnight, we're sorry," you gotta admit that is pretty heavy.

 Rofl.  *gets blown up*
Thanks to this dude whom I stole pic from 


Really, to tell you the truth, this last month has been excruciating.  I really haven't been able to do anything (besides the Disney trip) besides play video games with myself.  Mostly Black Ops because I'm pathetic like that.  It's gotten to the point where I become extremely frustrated with just about anything bad that happens.  There hasn't been any room for opportunity here.

I've yet to receive any sort of feedback from my Sega job application which is no surprise.  Just forget about it--Sega wants nothing to do with me.  Fine, keep churning out lousy movie adaptations and bad DC port rehashes, awesome job guys.  My SEGA Job Application.

I'm also nearly done with the FIEA application process; just need to do the fabled Production portfolio.  I will probably have to work on that alone for the next week or so.  I really hope I get accepted to FIEA.  I just want to learn about game design and programming.  But they're sticking me with pins and needles and it ain't good.  Odds are they'll see a minor flaw in me and just dump me in favor or some other Mountain Dew-drinking "cool" dude so I get sent to Full Sail where God knows what goes on there.  My visits to FIEA and Full Sail.

I really want to get going somewhere since I'm being driven crazy now.  I hope I get out of here and face new opportunities.  Just want to do SOMETHING and prove my worthiness but no--not happening since the world has been dropped on its head recently and I've been trying to keep my cool all this time.

Until then, just chillin out, playing some Black Cops, trying to hang on to Sega dreams while I'm at it...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Eggs Sega Racer Style


Anyway, this is Uma the Horse, the secret playable "character" in Daytona USA for Saturn (both original and CCE).  Which I thought was pretty stupid but it's an easter egg, lololol.

You know, going back, I always thought the audio on the Saturn version was really annoying...

There are other little cheats in Daytona USA (Saturn) such as "Mash the X button to get the Jeffry statue to spin on his head" and "Stop the slot machine in Beginner course and get extra time."  No videos exist of these.  See here.

Then there is the "You Just Lost Your Sponsors" sign that everyone knows, what were they thinking when they threw that in there.  Next thing you know, they're gonna start adding secret alcoves, keys, and WICKED JUMPS San Francisco Rush style.

And some dude running Daytona USA 2 off his homemade arcade "cabinet," nice.  The shifter doesn't work though.  I'm starting to see more Daytona 2 love if people really regret missing out the first time so we get stuff like the Supermodel emulator.  Now that's great news.

Happy Easter

While you're busy eating your candy and looking for your little Easter eggs (now that can be fun), then let me remind you about Jesus.

Rejoice, for the Lord has risen.

And have a good day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fans Versus Fanboys? Nintendo Versus Sega?

I notice that the word "fanboy" gets thrown out a lot about pretty much anything.  If you like something very much, you're considered a fanboy now.  But what does that mean?  It really doesn't mean anything since it's all semantics--just a blanket statement that means, to some extent, "you suck."  But really, the definition of a fanboy tends to differ per person and it can get confusing at times.

The way I see it, there are "fans" and there are "fanboys."  A fan is basically someone who likes something to a certain extent.  (Ex. He is a fan of the Green Bay Packers and roots for them every game.)  A fanboy, on the other hand, is someone who seems so blinded by his infatuation with something that he rejects any alternatives either by ignorance or faulty logic.  He often acts in a snarky, imposing matter to the point he can no longer be rationalized with.  (Ex. He's an Apple fanboy.  He thinks Macs look the best and that PC's are buggy pieces of crap.  He loves his iPhone and criticizes anyone who doesn't use it.  He says anyone who doesn't use Apple products are stupid.  He idolizes Steve Jobs.  Etc.)

I bring this up on the fly because it seems to be a big f'n deal nowadays.  One reason is because the title of my blog is "Musings of a Sega Racing Fan."  Not fanboy.  Well, you might think from looking at this blog that I'm a huge Sega fanboy--Burnout sucks, FnF sucks, Gran Turismo sucks, Forza sucks, etc.  Look, I'd like to say I've done my research.  I do like other racing games as well as games from other genres such as FPS, rhythm, and strategy.  But for the games I don't like, I do express my reasoning behind them What else should I do?  I try.

Besides, if I'm a Sega fanboy, how come I criticize Sega so much?  Cause I call it like I see it, that's why.  Do not doubt me.  I've also expressed things I don't like about Daytona USA 2 and Daytona USA 2001 so it's not like I treat these things like they're perfect.  I do believe they're close to perfection though, that doesn't change.

Sometimes, it really does come down to preference, such as whether you prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream (I like chocolate more...I can't explain it, it just taste better).  So I guess being a fanboy means using your obsession to make an ass out of yourself.  But you do have to take some of what I say as satire because games like Burnout, Nintendo, World of Warcraft...everyone pisses themselves over these things so I'm just trying to have fun with these guys.  Sometimes I'm joking, but sometimes I'm depends on if they REALLY suck.

 I'm Sean Connery and you are all Alex Trebek.

So the definition of a fanboy can differ people person.  Like you may have a similar definition as mine, but much more tempered--a fanboy is anyone who likes something a lot.  So I guess you can say I'm a fanboy, maybe, but I'll respect people's opinions if they respect mine.  Try to avoid using the term "fanboy" from now on.


Anyway, speaking of fanboys, here's a glazing example of a "fanboy."  But I'll get to that in a sec.

As an aside, during my early years in Internet surfing, I spent time looking up cheats and walkthroughs for N64 games as well as some Mario fansites.  Hey, check out this funny Nintendo site; my God it still exists.  Very damn funny/stupid site with things like "Create your own game ending," and "Bad Nintendo stories."  Click on "Fun Stuff" to see them.  Here's a few excerpts:

Bad Nintendo Experience:

Sent in by Paul Floco

After 2 hours of non-stop of playing 1942, all the ending was was
"Congratulations" It made me so mad that I beat the game in the 
front door of my house with a baseball bat.
You mad? 

Alternate Goldeneye Ending:

Sent in by Simon Mamane

You would see James Bond and Natalya Simonova will begin to be 
enemies and they will shoot each other with Moonraker Lasers then 
Oddjob, Baron Samadi, Jaws, and Mayday will come out and shoot 
James Bond. But James Bond will not die. He will take out a Golden 
Gun and shoot Oddjob, Baron Samadi, and Natalya Simonova. But 
not Jaws because James Bond will be partners with Jaws.
 Play multiplayer, you can do it there.
Super Mario 64 Changes: 
Sent in by Chris Zinn

There should be a 4 player mode with Luigi, Mario, Yoshi, Peach, Wario,
Donkey Kong, Toad, or Bowser. The mushroom makes you big, the 
fire flower would make you able to shoot fireballs, the Tanooki Suit 
would make you immune to fire and able to turn into a statue, the Frog 
Suit makes you swim very fast, and the Hammer Suit makes you able to 
throw hammers. The starman makes you invincible. The game would 
come with a multitap so you can have 8 player battles. 
My God, give this guy a job at Nintendo, he's a genius!!!
Another Bad Nintendo Experience:
Sent in by Anders Messermith

I went to Nintendo's headquarters in Redmond and the security guards 
escorted me out because I was snooping around. 
Damn, should've gone to Sega HQ instead; they'd let you go hog-wild there.


But anyway, I wanted to learn more about video games in general and what people had to say about them.  So I stumbled upon this Nintendo fansite that detailed a bit of the history of Nintendo.  You mean the mafia connections and love hotels?  NO, we mean the actual games.  So there was a bias towards Nintendo, of course.  When he got to Sony, he replied "Those f***ers!!" in response to the Playstation being the bastard child of Nintendo.  But then things went way overboard when he got to "fan fiction."  Remember that this was back in 2000 when Sega was still in the console business and the two companies hated each others guts.

This is a Mario vs. Sonic fanfiction.  Now this is like my Seong Mina GameFAQs contest in that I remember it but don't have any proof so take my word for it.  The two fought in an arena with half the seats being occupied by Nintendo characters and the other half by Sega characters.  I don't know how it went down, but I know that Sonic struck down Mario and was about to "Finish him!" Mortal Kombat-style.  But before Sonic could kill Mario, Luigi came to Mario's aid and said, "If you're going to kill him, you have to get through me first."  So then Link got up, then Samus, then Fox, then every damn Nintendo character came to Mario's aid versus Sonic.  As for the Sega characters, did they help Sonic?  Heh...they all ran away in fear, leaving Sonic to die.  The end.

In order to counter Mr. Nintendo's wonderful fan fiction, I'll produce my own in response...:


It's the year 20XX.  Nintendo and Sega have been fighting for decades.  Nintendo had Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc. but Sega had BLAST PROCESSING so it was an evenly-matched competition for years.  But the two sides came to an agreement that rather than lead millions more soldiers AKA gamers to their doom, they decided to settle this with a one-on-one match between the best each company has to offer.  The winner's company would enslave the loser's company (this is like David & Goliath from the Bible, duh).

So who did Nintendo pick?  Well, they went with Mario because he's so damn sexy and because he's the King of Nintendo.  Who did Sega pick?

So that's what Segata Sanshiro did to Mario.  Mario incinerated into a fireball while yelling his trademark "Waaaahhhh!!" But rather than accept defeat, Link jumped up to defend Mario but Segata impaled him with his Master Sword.  Samus shot her little laser ball thing and Segata deflected it off his chest back at her.  Captain Falcon showed up and Segata did a judo flip on him and showed him his moves.  Then Segata proceeded to kill every single Nintendo character and then Sega went on to be the greatest game company of all time.  The end.

EDIT: This is sarcasm.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Analysis: Cheapo Games Versus Top-Flight Games

NEWS: All Sega games on XBLA are on discount (up to 50%)...this ends on April 25 so go buy whatever you can, particularly OutRun Online Arcade and Crazy Taxi.


Now for something with substances.  I was going to talk about something else, but I saw this article on Joystiq and I guess this is a good discussion point.

Mike Capps, President of Epic Games, faces uncertainty on the future of games in the next five to ten years.  Now the studio "Epic" right there causes me great concern.  See this article (Warning: Profanity).  But anyway, he makes games for a living and I don't so he has some credibility.

First he talks digital redistribution of games.  Now is this a good idea?  It can be convenient, yes, but I talked until I was blue in the face about XBLA games like OutRun Online Arcade, Root Beer Tapper, and Paperboy being removed from the Marketplace.  Also consider popular games that rely on big servers saving massive amounts of player data, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.  What if the devs decide to pull the plug on them?  All that work gone.

The difference between retail and digitally-distributed games is that you can preserve copies of hard games in physical (cartridge, CD) or memory (ROMs) format, but with digital games that are somehow hardwired to these big servers like Xbox Live and Playstation Network, they can go away and never come back.  Horrowing thought.

But what's more interesting is that he compares these big-ass $60 games to these small $2 games like Angry Birds.  Now to tell you the truth, I have grievances with both of them.  But what Mike is trying to say is that $2 games will take over $60 games.  Here's the way I see it:

The good news is that I think this proves that big, bloated game studios are pissing us off.  Back in the NES days, you could have studios of 10-20 people work on a game and it was (hopefully) good.  Nowadays, you have teams of 200+ people.  And because of the massive amount of effort to make these games, they cost a lot because of all the labor (duh).  So to ensure maximum profit, they always aim for broad demographics that will guarantee big sales--dirty, futuristic FPSes, medieval/Final-Fantasy/WoW adventures, Burnout racers, stupid Kinect games, etc.  You wouldn't get "neat" games like Super Meat Boy and Castle Crashers out of big devs.

Also, I really wonder how much "bigger" games can really get.  Aside from improvements in hardware that can render more polygons at faster speeds, could visuals really get any better?  You could spit out an Atari game in a few weeks, a NES game in a month, a SNES game in a few months, a N64 game in a year, an Xbox 360 game in a few years...where does it end?  More details and intricacies...well you may find a few shortcuts (i.e. a terrain generator that allows you to design a whole island FarCry-style without having to click every single polygon) but it's not getting any easier.  Stuff like scripts, sounds, art, etc. can't be sped up.

This is a bit of a glamorous return to old-school gaming.  The days of these big-ass movie-like games are taking a hit.  Okay, cool, I just played through an "epic" adventure in glorious hi-def graphics, now "where's the beef?"  Games like Angry Birds, Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, etc. say "Screw graphics and the story, here's gameplay."  Now that's pretty good.  Because these small teams are able to make games, you start getting more niche games rather than these "gimme" games like Madden and Call of Duty.  This is healthy because we're starting to see some new ideas pop up.

...But on the other hand, this move towards simple games can be bad.  I think in sort of a way, we've become more of a shallow bunch thanks to constant commercials, reality TV, "epic" YouTube videos, iPhone apps, etc.  This is where simple instant-gratification games take over, like Bloons Tower Defense and Farmville.  They are as simple as clicking on a few things and you "win."  Ooo, the monkeys are popping the balloons!  Ooo, my farm is bigger than my friend's farm, EPIC!!  Now just because a game skips on story doesn't mean it has to be shallow--take Rock Band and Daytona USA--no story, somewhat repetitive, but very challenging with lots of variety and room for improvement.  I want to see more games like those two.

I already talked before about how Cliff Blesinski said that the "middle-budget" game is dead.  Hopefully not.  I am getting sick and tired of these story/theatric-based big-budget games that don't last more than a few weeks (see Homefront and Medal of Honor), but I don't want to see crap little games that go for instant satisfaction more than anything.  I hope Cliff is wrong, but I don't know.

Either way, gamers win because they get games for cheap.  Too many fancy games and thus the devs have to jostle for sales by dropping their prices.  For instance, I bought Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 together off Steam for about $10 (problem is my laptop can't run either of them, rofl).  But this is not good for big game studios who will probably have to re-evaluate what games they make.

And now you know the whole story.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

300th Post! NASCAR Is Boring!

What were you expecting...a 300 movie poster?  Rofl.

But anyway...

This was last Sunday's race.  The race was decided by .002 seconds.  I saw this live BTW.

And another race back in 2003 (when you were allowed to rub the other cars) decided by the same damn margin.

You live for moments like this...too bad you have to wait 3+ hours until the race comes to a close.  They should do like Daytona USA and set it to eight laps as opposed to three hundred...rofl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm RAGE'd About These Hue Alterations!!

When I mean "Raged," I mean Rage, the upcoming video game by Bethesda Softworks.  This game takes place in an apocalyptic wasteland where you fight for survival by blasting the crap out of ugly space mutants.

(I had to set this pic to small since I don't wanna see these damn ugly dudes).

Holy cow, this is the most original idea for a game ever.  I've never heard of such a game before.  The amount of creativity on display here is staggering.

But really, I could sit here and say, "this game sucks," until I'm blue in the face, but that doesn't mean anything.  I wanted to discuss the game further when I saw a gameplay trailer on Kotaku.  I'm not even going to link to the video, just go there and see for yourself.

Hell yes, let the color debates begin!...



Looks brown to me. 

I hate this critique. Don't want a brown or gray game? Don't play a war game. Wars create dust and rubble. Especially wars in an urban setting.

Ever see pictures of urban centers during WW2? Or even ground zero in the aftermath of 911? Things get gray and brown in an awful hurry. 

Oh, you! :P

Springtime for Hitler is rather joyful, perhaps that is what people want. 

ROFL picture fail.

Also, the whole color argument is so lame. Color fanboys now, who knew? 


First of all, I didn't know it was possible to be a "fanboy" of color.  If you like or prefer something to another, you're a fanboy!  Everybody's a fanboy (or fangirl) now!  Straight men are girl fanboys!  People who like to laugh and smile are happy fanboys!  People who love America and the liberties they have are freedom fanboys!  It never ends.  No matter what, you're a fanboy/girl and thus are an a-hole, apparently. 

But I tell you what jumped into my mind after seeing this Rage footage.  I see digital color alteration.  This is what many movies nowadays do--they alter the hue in order to convey a different mood.  At first, this wasn't such a bad idea (see O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Saving Private Ryan) but now, it's basically done to expediently add a little "zing" to the movie.

This is a really good Cracked article I read on movie cliches.  Basically, horror movies are blue, apocalyptic movies are grey, desert movies are yellow, surreal movies are green, and everything else is teal & orange.  Here's another good article about teal & orange movies from some guy's Blogspot.

Everything is teal & orange!

Everything is grey!

And about this Rage game, heh....everything is grey or pukish green.  What an original game.

Now I don't really care what Bethesda does with its games--make whatever you want.  But until then, I'm sticking with my trusty old color wheel:

Thankfully, Call of Duty and Halo still use the color wheel so that's cool.  M-rated games and the color wheel aren't incompatible you know.


But to cheer you up, here's some happy news--Love Roller Coaster is in Rock Band!!!  Yes, happy times are here again!!!  Look at all the colors!!!

CoD Black Ops: Murphy's Law

I have been playing Black Ops a bit in the last few weeks (understatement of the century) and I'm just getting really pissed at this game over stupid minutae.  REALLY, I MUST BE ONE OF THE UNLUCKIEST PLAYERS IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME.  Here's some of the things that have happened:


* When you pull the pin of a grenade, an enemy will always turn the corner and mow you down before you can even throw it.

* Even worse, when you intend to throw a grenade into a window or other tight spot, you will always get gunned down just as you release the nade.  And it will lose all momentum and plop right on the floor Martyrdom-style, accomplishing nothing.

* While waiting in one area for the enemy to appear, once you become impatient and leave/look another way, the enemy will run up from where you were previously looking and kill you.

* When you get a care package, you throw it in a safe area guarded by your teammates.  Then all your teammates will disappear/die and you will be killed by a Ghost just as the crate lands.  Then you lose your crate.

* If somehow you drop the care package safely and want switch the contents with Hardline Pro, a teammate will start trying to take the crate from you, thus nullifying your ability to swap.  So you will have to take what you got first.

* And when you do swap the contents of the package, you'll always get ammo or Valkyrie rockets.

* When you use a Tactical Insertion and die, there will always be an enemy waiting by your respawn point for the easy headshot/knife/tomahawk kill.

* When you enter a room and check all possible spots/approach points, an enemy will inexplicably reveal himself at the LAST place you check, thereby getting the jump and killing you with ease.

* Leading up to unlocking Tactical Mask Pro (which nullifies the effects of flashbangs/concussion nades), you will be abused to death by said grenades.  You will waste a perk slot with Tactical Mask for a long time because hardly anyone uses Nova gas.  Then when you finally get Tac Mask Pro, no one will use tactical nades anymore.

* NEW: When you do use Tac Mask Pro, everyone uses Claymores.  When you use Hacker Pro, everyone uses flashbangs/concussion nades.

* When capturing a point in Domination by your lone self, you will always die from a random nade or headshot when you are only ONE DAMN FRAME (99.9999% there) away from capping the point.

* NEW: And when you die capping this point by yourself, you have to make a decision on the fly..."Is the enemy coming from the left or right???"  You stare one way and the enemy comes from the other every time.

* Even worse is in Ground War, there will always be a party of really good players on the opposing team.  Your team will be greatly molested by Famas pros, chopper gunners and dogs.  To make it worse, you will never be assigned to their team so you will always get your ass kicked.

* To make Ground War worse, you will always have a bunch of noobs on your team who make no attempt to capture points or even provide backup.  They will die a lot and give the other team loads of killstreaks.

* When you are shooting at an enemy from a window, a teammate will always walk in your way.  The enemy will proceed to mow down you and your teammate, netting a double kill with ease.

* When sprinting to cover to avoid gunfire, you will always be killed by just a sliver margin away from actually making it to safety (I know this is lag, gimme a break).

* On the other hand, if you see an enemy with Lightweight running for cover, you will always be one shot away from killing him as he makes it to cover.  You may even try to pursue him, but he will always make it to cover before dying.

* Also when attempting to knife an enemy, you will always miss either because you weren't close enough (and thus didn't lunge at the enemy) or he will run circles around you.  He will always knife you while not looking at you but you can't knife him the same way.

* Or even worse, when you actually pull off a successful knife lunge, you will always be shot and killed just before the knife even touches him.

* When you get a clear shot on an enemy or group of enemies who aren't looking your way, you will be flanked by an enemy in similar fashion and will down you before you can get a kill.

* When entering a building with a bunch of teammates inside, you will use the inside as cover presuming that no one will come and kill you.  However, an enemy (usually a Lightweight) will run through all of your teammates and knife you in the back.

* There will always be a person on the other team of average skill (1.0 KDR).  Whenever you see this guy, he will always kill you no matter what the circumstances.  You cannot kill this guy; he will always kill you.

* When you get a Chopper Gunner, it'll be shot down right away.  On the other hand, if the other team gets a Chopper Gunner, it'll never be shot down and your team will seemingly die like a bunch of ants sprinkled by pesticide.

* When playing any game lobby (particularly Mercenary Mosh Pit), you will play Domination on Nuketown twice.  Then you will play Team Deathmatch on Nuketown.  Then you will play Capture the Flag on Nuketown.  Then you will throw up from playing that map so much.

* No matter where you place your sentry gun, it will never kill anybody.  It will be destroyed, thus rendering your effort pointless.

* When you toss Nova gas down, the enemy without Tac Mask will walk through it, not become disoriented whatsoever, and kill you.

* When your team has a Spy Plane up, you will always be snuck up on by a Lightweight despite the fact that he was nowhere near you five seconds ago.

* When you use Flashbangs/Concussion Nades with Tac Mask Pro, you will get hit markers but never any indicators on enemy positions.

* If you try to sprint and jump past an enemy claymore, you will still get blown up no matter how far away you are from it.

* NEW: When you go to revive a teammate in Second Chance, you will both get mowed down as soon as you save him.

* Every once in a while, you will be prepped and ready to shoot anyone who appears.  However, a complete noob will waltz right in and you cannot kill this guy.  No matter how hard you try, he will shoot from the hip and kill you.

* When a group of enemies busts in, you will kill all of them...except for one guy who shows up late and kills you by surprise (usually a Ghost).

* NEW: In TDM, enemies will always spawn behind you.

* When you switch up your grenade launcher, an enemy will run right in your face, thus making it impossible to shoot him because launchers don't work at close range.

* Also about grenade launchers, when you see a group of enemies and blow up a nade in the middle of them, it will hurt but not kill anyone.

* NEW: Or you will see a group of enemies literally hugging each other.  You'll fire a grenade from your GL at them, but rather than blow up all of them, the nade will "bonk" one guy, netting you one kill rather than more.

* Despite wearing Flak Jacket, you still get killed by barrages of grenades and RC-XD's.

* NEW: When you're in a tense shootout with another guy, you'll experience a brief lag hiccup at the very last moment, thus giving your opponent that easy death blow while you stand there clueless.

* When driving an RC-XD towards your intended victim, someone else will kill him a millisecond before it blows up, thus wasting the damn thing on nothing.

* NEW: Cars and explosive red barrels will always light on fire and blow up next to you sporadically.

* When you unlock a Pro perk, you will never have enough money to buy it right away.

* Once you unlock all the good Pro perks like Tac Mask Pro or Sleight of Hand Pro, you'll be just a few levels away from prestiging anyway so the benefits never last long.

* Fire dropped from enemy napalm will kill you even if you're far away from it.

* Rolling Thunders will always kill you no matter how far in cover you are.

* The host will always pull the plug and abruptly send the damn game back to the lobby, usually at the start or end of game thereby wasting your time.

* You will always die while reloading.

* Before you unlock Sleight of Hand Pro, you will always be killed while trying to look down your sights.

* You will always get stuck in a server with one or more obscene player emblems (nudity, sex, etc.).

* Once you reach that breaking point when you start cursing and acting like a jackass to the world, you'll start playing good again and will shut up.  I still wonder why I play this stupid ass game.


All of these things have happened to me.  This is not embellished in any away.  I may add more things later.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Sega Racing Goodness Videos!!!

Alright, boys and girls!  Happy Passover to our Jewish friends!  Now that emulators have exploded onto the scene, we're getting new Daytona 1/2/Scud Race footage!  Now that's not terrible.  These aren't my videos--I don't actually do "anything" anymore but report the news, thereby trying to act relevant when I'm really not!

Nice intro movie.  It gets a little choppy in the Tips To Win part, but pretty good.

This is the Super Bonus course from Scud Race Plus.  No sound so that sucks.  You race through the house Micro Machines-style!  Sega-AM2 is crazy and don't you forget it.

Ok, now let's step back to model2 emulation.  This is Daytona USA Turbo, a mod that gives the Hornet large monster truck tires and turns the Start button into NNNIIITTTRROOUUSSSS.  Car goes 850 kph/530 mph, wow....there's really no need for this mod since you shouldn't mess with perfection.  I know little about this mod nor do I know how they programmed it without the original source code, but still, you have now learned about it.

Thanks model3 for finding this video!  This is OutRun 2 beta footage with different camera angles.  Just like Daytona USA 2's secret camera views.  I wonder how one gets their hands on this beta copy anyway.

Not even going to bother embedding this video: This is the Tomorrowland Arcade from Disney World in May 2008.  Now you know I went there in March 2011.  But in 2008 they had a Daytona 2 deluxe cabinet but it wasn't turned on?  WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, DISNEY!!!  They still had the usual suspects--Fast & Furious, Mario Kart GP, even OutRun 2 which ain't bad...

Now this isn't Sega racing, but we can bend the rules here since Sonic "races" at the speed of sound.  Now you will be able to play as Genesis Sonic in 2D and Dreamcast Sonic in 3D, both in two variations of the same levels.  Green skies are back.  Well, it may still suck, I'm not going to guarantee that.  For instance, people may still complain about 3-D Sonic's "auto-pilot" sections, geez.  At least Sega looks like they're listening to fan feedback.

But the question is this...if Sega is able to revive Sonic this way, can't we revive the "Daytona USA Universe"--Sega racers from 1992-1998?  Why the hell not?  Do you think Sega's starting to loosen up to ideas like this?  I need to get hired by Sega now!!!  Just throwing this out there.  Alright, I'm done for now, cya guys.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Disney World Trip Day 2 Pics (Thursday)

I greatly apologize for not posting this sooner.  Just getting all the pics sorted out was a pain as it is.  Let's recap the trip before I forget.  BTW, these are pics from my March '11 family vacation.

Day 1 (Wednesday)


I forgot to mention this part from the previous entry.  When we left Magic Kingdom, we tried to get into Epcot just to check it out.  We rode the monorail over and unfortunately, the Disney pass will only allow you in one park a day.  So we left Epcot and went to Disney Downtown when it started to rain and ducked into this restaurant called Wolfgang Puck's (not making this up).  Then we ate there and went back to our cabin in Fort Wilderness.


We're all going to Epcot which I was stoked for.

It's the Epcot Center!  It's called Spaceship Earth.  It's supposed to be a ride but screw it--we didn't ride it cause it sucks.

 Here is another pic of Spaceship Earth with big plaques with tiny names of people.

Lucky for us it was HGTV's Floral Month or something so there's grass statues of everything.  Here's Lotso the Bear from Toy Story 3.  SPOILER: Lotso is an a**hole, go to Hell Lotso, no one loves you.

Oooo look, it's Mickey Mouse!!!

It's Lightning McQueen!!!

We are in the Land of Tomorrow, not to be confused with Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland.  This future land makes Tomorrowland look like The Jetsons.  WHY AREN'T ALL THE BUILDING HERE MADE OF CHROME, DAMMIT!!??

Here is the monorail zipping above us!  At 40 mph (64 kph), not very futuristic if you ask me.

This is a nice flower bed you could see while riding the monorail.  Freakin sweet.

It's the water-spitting things I remember a long time ago!  They are not as impressive as before--they spray randomly with not much accuracy--they don't hit the same exact spot always and it wasn't windy.

Nice friggin fountain.

We're now entering this mall called The Land.  This has to be the best name ever conceived.  Really, we're on land, it makes perfect sense.

Actually, I don't think there was much to do in here except stop at a few restaurants or go on a few rides.  But it looks big and impressive, I admit.

Inside The Land, we went on this one ride called Soarin'.  You walk down these long-ass hallways until David Puddy tells you to fasten your seat-a-belt and you watch a 5-minute IMAX aerial video while this machine lifts you slightly into the air.  Sounds great.

Ok, we get it, Land of Tomorrow is great, but what else is there?  Well, there's the World Showcase.  I had no idea how interesting this place was because there's a couple of acres room displaying the intricacies of a bunch of countries.  This includes buildings, restaurants, stores, and even employees from said country working there.  So it's like you're actually in another country, I guess.  Let's check it out.

Okay, let's start with Canada, eh.

Martin Short?  But I thought he wanted to go to Dinosaur World!!!

A little concert stage in Canada.  I presume they play Rush concerts every hour on the hour.  Otherwise, what else could there be...Dudley Do-Right routines?

This is the United Kingdom.  My mom is so fascinated with anything UK-related that it's ridonkulous.

A flower garden.  We would revisit this place later since we're were haulin' ass through the whole place.

It's the crocodile from Peter Pan with two birds walking by.  Perfect picture!!!

Now here's France.  Boooooooring cause you can't walk by the fake Eiffel Tower.  And it's nothing but expensive restaurants and perfume stores.  No thanks.

A closer picture of France.

Now we're in Morocco.  This is the token Arabic country.  Unfortunately, not much to do here either.

YES, we made it to Japan!!  LOL, I just turned into a weaboo.  I'm just joking.

Another pic of Japan; I would come back here later.

 Another cool Japanese picture.

Now we're in America.  Somehow, the Philadelphia State Hall comes to mind.  This is where foreigners come to learn about the Founding Fathers, the Constitution of the United States, GOD, GUNS, GUTS, AND WIDE OPEN SPACES!!!

 As we're walking, we pass by a miniature train village.  I love stuff like this.


We're walking somewhere.  I think this is Germany.

Yes, we're in Germany.  This must be where the fat bratwurst-eating kids go.  This is where I go to honor my white German does 50% of all Americans belong, I'm so special.

If you go in the gift shop and pull a secret lever behind in the beer mug shelf, you'll discover a secret rave club gettin down to the house music.  We're all living in America, Coca-Cola, Wonderbra...

This is Italy.  Italy sucks cause it looks like Spain.  Italy also sucks cause there's no Ferrari museum.  And I don't want to eat pizza and spaghetti so screw it.

Look, it's Lady and the Tramp, lol!!!

And we're in China which I always thought was neat.  It doesn't have the video games that Japan does, but we still love it anyway!!!  Fortunately, no Tienanmen Square/Communist tank replicas.

This is Norway.  I'm not terribly interested in Scandinavia & vikings in general so there wasn't much to do here.

And this is the last country on the list, Mexico.  Finally, we stop and eat some overpriced tacos.  If you go inside this pyramid, you enter some Maxican villa/marketplace

At this point, I think our family decided to split up into pieces and just walk which way.  All I know is that I went back to Japan to check out the store.

Wow, holy s***, I gotta tell ya I was a bit stoked to come here.  OMG, Pokemon toys, Naruto t-shirts, Hello Kitty stuff, WWWEEEEEE!!!!

Up until this point, I hadn't by anything with my money.  So I saw all those Pokemon plushies and started grabbing some of them.  Okay, so I kind of do like Pokemon, but not THAT much (I haven't played any Pokemon games besides Red/Blue).  So I get a couple of Pokemon--Snivy, Palkia, Ho-oh, and some other guys.   Then I looked for Sega-related stuff.  There was just a few Sonic-related items so I grabbed a hat.  As I take this to the cash register, the young man behind me made an interesting comment:

GUY: You've got good taste there, my friend.

ME: Ehh, not enough Sega stuff here.

GUY: I hear you.  You like Pokemon?

ME: Not that much.  I figured I'm not going have the chance to buy these Pokemon toys in a long time.

GUY: Yes, I got the new Pokemon Black/White, etc. blahblahblah I forgot....

I think I could've talked more, but I don't know...I was just buying a bunch of Pokemon toys, I felt like a bit of a loser.  The nice Japanese lady at the register said thank you and bowed for me so I bowed back...yeah, better get used to hanging out with actual Japanese people if I want to chill with Yu Suzuki and make the new Daytona game.

But this store didn't carry just anime stuff, it also had samurai swords!  I have no interest in swords, just gimme a gun or a ballistic knife or something.

I scoured the rest of the store looking for anything else Sega-related but there was can buy more t-shirts, kimonos, mats...uh, and some pocky.  Hey, I'll just stick with the Milky Way bars.

So I'm hopping from country to country with my dad and we stop by the Chinese, the Terracotta army...this place is both FUN and EDUCATIONAL!!

Then we go back to Germany and look at the shot glasses they had there.  Wow, they had a lot of shot glasses (no pictures, sorry).

We go into the Mexican pyramid and here's an entire village of Mexican stuff.  Arriba, arriba, andalay!!  Jump da border!!  Via con Dios.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S EVEN MORE!!  There's another cool ride in Epcot called the Test Track.  Okay, now you know anything car-related makes me giddy.  Let's go check it out.

This is the entrance to the Test Track, brought to you by Government Motors (GM)!

You get inside and it's like a crash test facility.  Only instead of test dummies, they use real people, I think.

After we're taken into a room and forced to watch a video of some clipboard guy who'll subject your car to grueling test, you get in the six-seater car.  What a lame-ass car.  No steering wheels to hold on to.  Hardass plastic seats.  If this is the car of the future, I'm gonna be pissed.

We're in the car and we're ready to roll!

This is the last picture I got with my camera before I flew out and beaned an unsuspecting ride attendant in the face.  JK.  This is the ride on YouTube (not my video):

You go at 70 mph (113 kph) for about ten seconds at the end, making it the fastest ride in Disney World, apparently.  Lame, I wanted to ride in a stock car at 180+ mph.  I mean, I drive 70 mph on the highway, the only difference here is that I'm on rails and there's no car roof.  Didn't change the fact that it was fun.

After the ride, you're deposited into this Shameless GM Self-Promotion Room with fuel cell cars!  Yes!

A Camaro, NICE.

I don't know what car this is but it looks hella cool.

Damn, look at all these cars, just like freakin Gran Turismo...

Before you leave, you have to check out the 9 pm fireworks show.  There's a big lake that all the countries border.  All this crap blows up in this island out there.  Terrorist attack in Disney World!!!

And then out comes this illuminated globe.  Apparently in praise of the United Nations which hasn't done anything to change the fact that more than half of the world's countries are totalitarian hellholes.  WTG, Disney.

And then there's an assload of fireworks.

Then we go back to our little Fort Wilderness cabin.  The end, will post Friday/Saturday real soon.