A Week In Comments

The NES Case That's A NES That's Great
Comment by: Chanaluss
Nominated by: LuisRM

so do you have to blow into the back of both cartridges to get it to play?

Going Off The Deep End: Has Gaming Grown Up?
Comment by: dunetiger
Nominated by: NeoAkira

...I have to say that I don't feel that games need to grow up, though I will say that some developers and publishers most definitely have grown up and some of simply not. As an entertainment medium that's enjoyed mostly by young adults 20-35 (going on 40), it's the audience that really hasn't grown up, and I'm not so sure that the audience wants to. Throughout your adult life, you have words like "maturity" and "professionalism" shoved violently down your throat until you either reject it entirely or you accept it and get on the highest horse you can find. At our most base level, humans are emotional, impulsive creatures - maturity is something that we've defined and enforced - but in the end, we all love to play, no matter how young or old we are. Whether it's by movies, with friends, books, radio, games or what have you, at the end of the day, most people want to play and have fun. It's what keeps most of us from committing mass suicide on a grand scale.

On the other hand, the idea of what a game is or should be and how they're created spans a vast age group. While it can be a medium used to comment on a variety of things, at its heart, the entire focus is to have fun. Everything after that is an afterthought and obviously, to stay alive you need to determine what age group you're going to target.

That being said, the stories being told are more mature than they used to be, depending on who's making them. The problem is that it's hard to focus on themes for adults like war, death, sex, violence, etc without inviting the consternation of government, media, and soccer mums. The industry, due to the insane amounts of cash that flow through it, is very terrified of risk and putting out a game that's the equivalent of an R rating can limit your income.

That is not to say, of course, that the only mature stories and games themselves must be rated M to be as such. Far from it. But a word like "mature" is subjective. I know a few teenagers who come off as far more mature than my 30-year-old friends. Hell, some of the older people I know act like giant babies: For example, I had to write a four-paragraph diatribe to defend myself at work yesterday because some guy received a 2-minute phone call he shouldn't have... and it wasn't me!

To address the point, though, my own personal problem with people trying to present themselves as "deep" is that it almost always comes off as pretentious wealthy-suburban college faux-intellectualism. You know the type of people I'm talking about. They are stricken with the idea that if they have post-secondary education, they're smarter than everyone else and so they regurgitate what they've read in text books to "prove" that they're deeply intelligent. This often, at least to me, has the opposite effect. You can normally tell when people are thinking for themselves and when they're just reciting something they don't really understand. You simply can't -tell- people how smart you are. You either are smart, or you're not.

There's also an inherent flaw in the basic principle of what a game is that holds back the depth you're looking for: you are the main character. While the character is not literally the player, the player vicariously lives through the character for the duration they're playing the game. The character reflects your actions, and quite often, your thoughts. Very few game characters have an internal voice - that's solely provided by the player. How a character thinks is a vital part of exploring a theme, yet if you are truly to explore that theme, you need to take thought and action away from the player. Take, for example, Hamlet. It's quite simple to make a game based on the story of Hamlet, but the depth is all lost because what makes Hamlet a layered and interesting character is how he thinks and how the audience interprets how he thinks through his actions - put into a player's hands, Hamlet becomes a different character altogether, even if in cutscenes he becomes the one we've known on stages for decades.

That is not to say that it's impossible to create a deep game, but rather that the analysis cannot be traditional in the literary scholar sense (or film, if you prefer). It's a different type of medium and requires a different type of thinking. You can't get it from a text book. More to the point, the maturity of a story depends on the maturity of its interpretations. Taking Hamlet again, from Shakespeare's perspective, he was just trying to make something interesting enough to get people to crowd the theatre so that he could feed his troupe. It wasn't until ages later when someone decided to analyse his writing that people started to believe that it was something more. Or, if you prefer, something more contemporary: Lord of the Rings. In this trilogy, it explores so many themes that can be interpreted on several levels, but straight from Tolkien's mouth, he says he intended no such thing (read the foreword).

In terms of physical maturity, games are as mature as any other entertainment medium. The possibilities are there to present and explore themes provided that the creator is clever enough to do so. However, creators today typically are not. We are among the music-video generation - the emphasis is a lot less on social commentary and a lot more on visual spectacle.

I believe there are intelligent creators out there, but they've only so far managed to present the themes rather than explore them. It's not an easy thing to do.

If anything, I think the best way to achieve depth in games is not by force-feeding intellectual fodder to us, but rather clever, subtle satire. Only thing is, satire is a very hard thing for many people to grasp on both the creator's and audience's end. I suppose that's what makes it fun. To reiterate, however, I don't feel that games need to grow up. They're fine just the way they are and they most certainly shouldn't -try- to invite intellectual discourse in the sense that it should be forced. Rather, present something interesting enough, and people will start to talk about it. That's where depth is achieved.

Rainbox Six Vegas 2 On PC Has Problems Of Its Own
Comment by: BtownDesignGuy
Nominated by: Stefanten

So, if the crash report rivals the length of, let's say, Homer's The Odyssey, does that mean we can call it an epic fail?

Thanks, ladies and gentlemen! You've been a great audience!

Pirated NTSC GTA IV Leaked Online Early
Comment by: IQpierce
Nominated by: Slatz_Grobnik

I downloaded it and I don't think it's the real thing. Here's a screengrab of some of my gameplay:

-=-=-= GRAND THEFT AUTO IV =-=-=-
A RockStar Games game

You are standing in the middle of Liberty City. There is a statue off in the distance. There are large buildings all around you.

You see several vehicles nearby: a Porsche; a F-150 pickup; a Beetle;

The street travels to the west and east from here. You can see seedy docks toward the east.

> look buildings
There are no buildings here.

> look cars
There are no cars here.

> look vehicles
You see several vehicles nearby: a Porsche; a F-150 pickup; a Beetle;

> hijack porsche
I don't know what you mean.

> attack porsche
I don't know what you mean.

> shoot porsche
You don't have any weapons!

> jack porsche
I don't know what you mean.

> jack Porsche
You move over to the Porsche, throw open the door, and pull the driver out.

...At this point it crashed... which is what makes me suspect that this isn't the real thing!

Uwe Boll Wanted To Do A WoW Movie, Blizzard Said No, Thanks
Comment by: Sigma-D
Nominated by: 天水

JUST IN: Uwe Boll, after drugging devs at Valve, has purchased the rights to Portal.

Portal will star Christian Slater as Danny who has been kidnapped by corrupt police officers in the town of Aperture during his science fair trip to talk about space stuff. In the meantime, the villagers are starting discover that their neighbours are disappearing one by one in crazy blue glow-y intervals. Danny, still in police custody, escapes police custody in a crazy 7-minute Matrix action scene with music by Drowning Pool ('Bodies' is what Uwe prefers). As Danny escapes the city of Aperture, most of the town has disappeared! Uncovering more secrets about the portal stuff, Danny uncovers that ALIENS are involved (shocker)! A sex scene occurs with Danny and an alien, but the troubles haven't ended there. A big alien appears and kills the sex alien, but Danny kills it and everyone is released in orange glows this time.

The End.

Wii Owners Don't Buy Games
Comment by: striderhayasa
Nominated by: Sixtail

...it's the retarded comments I grabbed a beer and a seat for. It's simple really and not any great revelation. years ago Wii was dismissed as a fad, crap tech that wouldn't last the first six months. People went on and on about how Wii was a toy and gimmicky and no one wanted waggle. Sony and MS execs had their cheap shots about the Wii as well.

Six months from launch Wii is still selling out in droves and Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank. The excuses are "still a fad" and " you can't base DS success on the presumed Wii success.." Even though 360 sales stalled and Sony and MS still weren't making and profit on their hardware.

A year later...Wii is STILL outselling the PS3 and the 360. Now Sony and MS are working on similar wiimote attachments or so rumour says. Nintendo records record profits and becomes the second most profitable company in Japan. 3rd parties? Still believe the Wii is a fad and a toy and won't dedicate resources to quality software. As a result, the store walls are lined with shit. Nintendo games are still some of the best games for the hardware, which comes as no surprise because it's always been that way from NES to SNES to 64, to GB, GBA, etc

analysts and developers and gamers (my self included) bitch about the lack of quality software but Nintendo can't do it all by themselves. When they do release a title that sells like gangbusters, people bitch that Nintendo games are the only games to play on the console. Damned if you do damned if you don't.

Look at from Nintendo's perspective. Nintendo got shitted on for 10 years straight from the core user demograph. The fault in large part was their's but when a truly great game came out on 64 or Gamecube, the core audience ignored it for the most part. So Nintendo decided to say ... to hell with the core audience because they aren't trying to see us anyway. We'll sell to these people over here who have never played games.

Now the core gamers are crying because Nintendo isn't giving them any love. From a business perspective, I say kudos to Nintendo, they made a necessary change and made billions on it and continue to do so. From a gamer's perspective, I'm not feeling it because Nintendo has the potential to make Wii really great, for all gamers, not just the casual. Simple changes here and there could easily make Wii more attractive even with the limited hardware. But they won't do it. All this does is reinforce the belief that Wii isn't a serious platform...thereby inspiring no confidence in 3rd party support...which in turn, causes a poor attach rate.

This is nothing new and so many of us here at Kotaku claim to be core gamers from years back but reaading some of these comments, I can see that either many are lying or have some damn short memories. i can accept that, but when the development community has the opportunity to make kick arse software for the dominating platform at a fraction of the cost of the competition, but REFUSES to do it regardless of profit to be made....this industry turns into a joke.


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