Welcome, one and all, BACK to Versus Mode—the column that calls upon GameCola writers as well as denizens of the videogame world at large to talk about what’s up in gaming.
This month in Versus Mode we’ve got:
Meteo Xavier vs. Carl Houghton vs. Joseph Catalanotto vs. Zach Rich vs. Andy Patterson vs. Colin Greenhalgh!
That’s right! In order to introduce themselves to you and give you a taste of their individual writing styles, six of GameCola’s shiny new writers are duking it out in Versus Mode this month. Enjoy!
1. It makes more sense to release games for the PS2 than for the PS3.
Meteo: I don’t know who it makes more sense to, but since more people have a PS2 still than a PS3, it would probably be a better shot to release it on PS2. I mean, for God’s sake, no one is going to plunk down $500 to play a new PERSONA game.
Carl: I couldn’t agree more with this as the industry stands right now. Consumers have constantly shown that they’re after value gaming all the way, with the Wii and DS especially exceeding all expectations. The PS2 has a solid user-base with it and the games can be developed for it at a low price compared to PS3 but still come out with some classic titles. Sometimes, the next generation needs to be careful that it doesn’t jump the gun.
Joseph: From whose perspective? To somebody like me who’s considering purchasing a PS2 but would never in a million years buy a PS3, I’d love to get the new games on the older system. But in terms of progression and from Sony’s point of view, of course it’s going to be better (in the long run) to release its exclusives on the PS3.
Zach: Last I checked, more than 11-million-billion-kajillion people have bought PS2s since its launch seven years ago. Not only that, but the console is still outselling it’s surpasser by at least a good hundred-thousand. If everyone in the world has the console to play your game, then why would you risk losing sales by putting your game out on a console that only those 10 people in the back of the room have? The same thing happened for years with the PS1; of course it makes sense.
Andy: Developing games for the outdated PS2 console is like Darth Vader declaring “now witness the power of this fully-armed and operational battlestation” to his hapless bagel-headed captive, before deciding to send a stumpy R2 unit with a mallet attachment to do the actual demolition work. In fact, I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Colin: As an artist for a company that works on porting the Guitar Hero franchise from the 360 to the PS2, I can tell you that PS2 sales are still VERY important. People still want to play games for their PS2. It may not be the most cost-effective and fun platform to develop for, but it’s still very popular and quite a powerful machine.
2. The increasingly high cost of videogame development could lead to a second videogame crash.
Meteo: I hope so. Maybe then I’ll finally have time to get through PHANTOM BRAVE, XENOSAGA, XENOGEARS, GOD OF WAR, IKARUGA, GOEMON’S GREAT ADVENTURE, BOMBERMAN 64 2, CAPCOM vs SNK, ACTRAISER 2, RADIATA STORIES, LUNAR, LUNAR 2, WIND WAKER, PAPER MARIO: TTYD, YS I and II, SUPER VALIS IV, R-TYPE FINAL, CAPCOM CLASSICS 1 and 2, NEUTOPIA, VALIS III, BLOODY WOLF, FINAL FANTASY V ADVANCE, FINAL FANTASY TACTICS ADVANCE, BREATH OF FIRE II, BEYOND OASIS, THOUSAND ARMS, WILD ARMS 2 and 3…
Damn nine-testicled dog….
Carl: I don’t see a crash on the way, but gaming quality is suffering due to the spiraling cost of development. The 16-bit era stands out to me as an era full of well-made games, and even if they weren’t all grade-A titles, there certainly wasn’t much of a market for budget games. However, it happened to the PS2 in the latter half of its life-span, and now the Wii is becoming overrun by budget titles because it’s just easy for small developers to make cheap games and sell them at a low price, and game quality is suffering as a result.
Joseph: Maybe, but what can we really do? If you want to start playing Pac-Man and Pong again, then be my guest. But if we want to keep getting new, fun, innovative games, we’re going to have to front the cost, and so will developers. It’s expensive to make a videogame, and that’s that, but if the game’s actually good, it’ll be worth it because it’ll be received well and widely purchased. In fact, maybe the increasing cost of producing a game is actually improving the quality of the games we’re getting.
Zach: The first videogame crash happened due to the culmination of several different issues, and not just the price of games. As long as developers keep pouring their hearts into big-name games, and 17-24 year old males, like 95-100% of this staff, since we just lost one of our very few girls, don’t mind giving up their souls to see if Master Chief is actually a human, cyborg or what-have-you, there will never be another videogame crash, evar.
Andy: The end is neigh. Maybe not a full crash, but the current choking wave of cash-in sequels and remakes is surely a harbinger of an industry suffocating innovation in order to guarantee returns on well-trodden paths. Verily, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding out, brothers. Apparently, Need For Speed Pro Nitro 6 was one too many.
Colin: I think the highest cost of game development is obviously man power. You need more people to work on bigger and more detailed worlds because there’s more STUFF. So unless gamers somehow start to clamor for boring environments and simple characters for their big budget games, the cost of game creation is just going to increase. This, I believe, is offset entirely by the increase of population and more specifically the videogame-playing population. Games take more to create, but they sell for more and in higher quantities, by far.
3. There is absolutely no reason for Nokia to make another N-Gage.
Meteo: What the hell’s an N-Gage?
Carl: The N-Gage could have been successful if it had only been more aesthetically pleasing. It just looked terrible, and with a screen that was taller than it was wide, it limited the potential of the games being developed for it. A lot of publishers had some major faith in the system, with THQ, Activision, and Eidos all involved at one point. The new N-Gage looks a lot more promising, but it’s gonna take one hell of a success to over-turn the reputation it has thanks to its first incarnation.
Joseph: Correct. There’s a reason that most people have never heard of it, you know. Just let it rest in peace.
Zach: If Nokia wants to waste money trying to raise their failed ideas from the dead, be my guest. If anything, it’ll give videogame columnists and writers like us all the more reason to laugh at them. If this one turns out to be successful, then hey, more power to them. But for now, I’ll keep my cell phone in my left pocket, and my DS in my right.
Andy: Like many gamers, I cuddle my DS to sleep every night, and occasionally admire the PSP from afar. If the hand-held gaming market were to be compared to an extremely small room, in which those two platforms were massively muscled sumo wrestlers who just about fit, Nokia trying to relaunch the N-Gage would be like trying to shoehorn in a pasty-faced tax inspector from Bristol and expecting a fair fight. Good luck to them, but don’t expect it to be pretty.
Colin: I…don’t know what to say here. What can I argue? It’s their loss? Another party’s portable device could be very popular if they do it right…though I think that people would rather have a crappy cell phone and a DS or PSP with games they actually want to play.
4. Whoever hacked Skyllus vBi’s Xbox Live account to get his super special Halo 3 armor should be sent to jail.
Meteo: That’s really stupid. Our prison systems are overcrowded to inhumane conditions already. Sending this person to jail over a videogame hack would cost the state more money than it’s worth to jail him and completely violate his human rights.
Why can’t we just cut off his legs and have sex with his first born son like we usually do?
Carl: If you’re going to become famous for something you do, you’re bound to be the target of someone out there, whether it be good or bad. Where this situation is concerned, it’s not just about in-game armor, but we’re also talking confidential information like bank details, and with more hacking maybe even home details and other sensitive info. The fact is, whether it’s virtual or real, stealing is stealing. Still, stealing such a ridiculously trivial thing, the criminal deserves a good seeing to in prison, if you ask me.
Joseph: Sure, why not? That, or a mental institution. Whoever is stupid enough to go to such trouble to gratify themselves in a videogame has some serious issues.
Zach: I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw this. It’s not really a debatable subject. He broke the law, so he should be punished accordingly. If, however, he were to be punished based on how stupid the crime he committed was and how stupid the purpose for said crime was, then he should have to spend the rest of his life in a full scale replica of the suit ‘cause he wanted it that badly. No bathroom breaks.
Andy: Try as I might, I just can’t feel sorry for someone who shot himself with his own gun. Sure, his financial details are up for the taking, and Microsoft couldn’t care less, but to get rewarded for shooting yourself in the head? Kurt Cobain did it years ago, and did he get custom Master Chief armor? Did he, hell.
Colin: I don’t necessarily think that’s the reason he should be sent to jail, but if the hacker is using the guy’s credit card or other personal information for his own benefit, he should definitely suffer the penalties of identity theft and be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.