Topics in gaming news debated by GameCola writers and industry professionals.
In this edition of “Versus Mode” we have:
DONNA NICHOLSON VS. MICHAEL RIDGAWAY
Donna Nicholson is one of the co-hosts of Pink and Deadly, an all-female videogame podcast where she and her friends Alicia and Chelle give you their take on videogames and geek culture. She is also working as a Cadette this semester in the Frag Dolls Cadettes Academy. This is Donna’s first appearance in “Versus Mode.”
Michael Ridgaway is a current GameCola staff writer. He’s one of the hosts of The GameCola Podcast, and he’s also the author of “Quantum Geek,” which chronicles the adventures of a boy trapped inside a videogame system gone haywire. This is Michael’s second appearance in “Versus Mode,” having written previously with Alex Jedraszczak.
1. The PSP Go was a bad idea.
Donna Nicholson: Definitely. I don’t know anyone who has one that still uses it and has good things to say about it. It’s overpriced and the battery life is short—transforming it from a portable device to something extra to carry around. And those are just two of the problems with it. If Sony wanted to collect accurate information from their “experiment” they should’ve produced a high-quality product, then people would have been more willing to fork out the mucho dinero for it. After reading the reviews, I knew I wouldn’t get one.
Michael Ridgaway: I actually think the PSP Go is a device ahead of its time. I love physical media, but at some point hard drives and digital distribution are going to advance to the point where physical discs are just impractical. The current consoles are the limit of what people are prepared for right now: a device that provides the ability to play downloadable games while still relying primarily on physical media. As hard drives become larger and cheaper and as digital distribution becomes more prevalent (and cheaper), I think we’ll see a shift toward the PSP Go’s business model, but I don’t think we’re there yet.
2. Kinect (formerly Project Natal) will be too casual-focused for most gamers.
Donna: I’m not sure if it will be too casual for most gamers, because I think a lot of gamers are casual. As a core gamer, I’m pretty disappointed in it—I can pretty much do what Kinect will do on my Wii. Of course, I’ll run out and buy it on day of release because I want all the components of a system. I’m a complete sucker that way.
Michael: I think it probably is too casual, but I think Kinect has bigger problems. Nintendo has already done the motion control thing, and people are already starting to get bored with it. Some people will buy Kinect and really enjoy it, but I just don’t think it will appeal to most consumers, hardcore and casual gamers alike. Both groups have already had their fun with the Wii, and I doubt casual gamers will go out and purchase an Xbox in addition to their Wiis just to try the new motion control, while hardcore gamers will just dismiss it with a weary “meh.” It’s interesting technology, to be sure, but it feels like Microsoft is playing catch-up with Kinect instead of innovating.
3. PlayStation Plus sounds like a great deal.
Donna: It will be if the PlayStation Network is improved with the revenue. If I still have to wait 45 @+^)%$_)! minutes for downloads and updates then no.
Michael: The whole $49/year subscription actually sounds pretty reasonable, but I already have Gamefly, so it all depends on what games and DLC they have and when they’re available. If it’s all older games and filler content, I’ll just stick with Gamefly.
4. Traveller’s Tales needs to stop making so many Lego games.
Donna: I’m indifferent—I don’t have a problem with G-rated versions of games, but I don’t buy them either. If the Lego versions of games are “dumbed down” then stop making them, please.
Michael: Profit, as with any company, is Traveller’s Tales’ main goal, and seeing as how TT is still pumping out the Lego games I must assume they’re profitable. While there are a ton of them, the Lego games are fun and pretty well-made, so I won’t fault TT for milking the formula for all its worth. After all, it worked for Shakespeare.
5. Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword just doesn’t look like a very good game.
Donna: I’ve never been into the Zelda games and seeing Miyamoto’s E3 demo of it made me actively want to steer away from it. I mean, if it’s not going to work well for the Big Cheese on stage, it’s probably going to be real crap when I get it home.
Michael: Current screenshots of Skyward Sword actually remind me a lot of George Seurat, one of my favorite painters, so I actually really like the look. Also, I’m a fanboy, I trust Shiggy, and the game is not going to be released until later in 2011, so I think people just need to calm down and stop trying to play soothsayer (and yes I’m aware of the irony of that statement given the content of this article).
Do you own or write for a videogame website or blog? Are you involved in the videogame industry? Do you…at least work at GameStop, or something? Well then, you’re just what we’re looking for! E-mail Editor-in-Chief Paul Franzen for details about participating in “Versus Mode.”