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Friday, June 21, 2013

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

I bought Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon a couple weeks ago when it was on sale at Future Shop for $29.99.

It's a slow-paced puzzle adventure with incredibly poor, clunky controls. But the graphics and production values are fairly good.

What kills this game is when you need to suck up the ghosts, the controls are not good, but the worst is that when you activate the vacuum or flashlight, you can only point it in one direction. If you want to move your beam you need to turn it off and change the way you're facing and turn it on again... It's not very responsive because Luigi is way more sluggish than the ghosts he has to defeat. So it makes combat a real chore... in fact the controls are quite awful and wreck what could have been a better game.

The pacing is slow, because it's like a point and click... only you don't have a mouse control so you have to walk up to everything and suck/shine your blacklight on it, or press X. It makes for some pretty tedious gameplay when it should be fun.

Originally this game was going to be called Luigi's Mansion 2, and it references the first Gamecube game quite a bit. As soon as you're dropped into the story it expects you've played the Gamecube game... WTF?? That might have been ok if they made the GC game available on Wii/Wii U as a download, but most people can't find it or if they only have a Wii U or Wii Mini, can't even play Gamecube games.

Unfortunately like the Mario games, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon looks good, but I don't know if it is actually much fun to play.

The sluggish controls ruin this game. Nintendo and developer Next Level Games, you should be ashamed for putting out such a sub-standard product.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Console conundrums

So I've placed pre-orders for both Xbox One and PS4... but I don't know if  I will actually purchase either of them at this point, really.

Xbox One has many issues, most notable being the need to be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours. But  I have other concerns that I haven't seen addressed anywhere. It ships with a 500 GB hard drive, yet all disc games must be installed to the system. Say a game averages 30-40 GB and considering that 500 GB is not *really* how much user available space there is, let's say 400 GB is around what's available... then we can only have about 10 games installed on our Xbox Ones? I heard we can add our own external hard drive to the console (presumably USB connected)  but I wonder how well an external hard drive would run the games off it? No hiccups? There are often problems with external storage with the Wii U for example.

Not to mention that Xbox One seems to be marketed as an all-around media device, so aside from games, the 500 GB hard drive will be filled up with videos and other media which will crowd out the space for games.

I can understand why it would be good to have a game stored to the hard drive, but I wish it was more a choice rather than all games must be stored on it.

Then there's the PS4. It's a box that plays games. Well, I have a bunch of boxes that do that, but the most notable example is my PS3. What does the PS4 *really* offer that the PS3 doesn't? A little better graphics, and a few differences in interface (touch pad, move light on the controller) but what *REALLY* sets it apart from the PS3? Why pay $400.00 + tax for it now?

In both cases, I have to look at the launch games, is there anything that blows me away, to the point that I Must buy one or both of these systems to play that game? Only one game was teased at E3 2013 that fits that description: Star Wars Battlefront. Yes, I have been waiting years for a new Battlefront game. But it was only a teaser, development has only just begun on it. Who knows when it will be released? A year? 2 years from now? I can say that for that game I *WOULD* buy a console just to play it.

But since it is not coming anytime soon, maybe I should just wait?


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

E3 2013 - Xbox One & PS4

So E3 2013 is now in full swing and Sony & Microsoft have revealed a lot more about the next-gen consoles. What gets buried are the "small" details that actually RUIN this generation of consoles.

Xbox One - MSRP $499.99, release date November 2013
PS4 - MSRP $399.99, release date "holiday 2013"

Of course the big Xbox One controversy is its demand to be always online and its odious used/borrowed-game policies... simply terrible. I have been borrowing games from the library for some time now, mostly Wii but now that I have a PS3, I have been borrowing some of those too... most recently Tomb Raider (which I ended up buying when I found it for $30.00) So I guess Xbox One games won't be able to be loaned out from the library.... really sucks,

But the worst part of Xbox One is the supposed TV integration, like it's supposed to hook up to our cable box. But the MAIN reason I'd want it to even do that is if it recorded TV from it, storing it on its hard drive so I can watch later, maybe while doing other things in Xbox, using that split screen interface they seem so proud of. But you KNOW there will be ***NO*** PVR component to Xbox One, right? So what's the point? Check on fantasy football stats? Oh yay. How STUPID and POINTLESS.

Now onto the PS4. Yes, it is coming in at $100.00 less than Xbox One. And they were smart enough to pounce on the DRM tactic used by Microsoft, proclaiming that the PS4 will play used games.

But then they SCREWED IT UP by quietly declaring that PS Plus membership will be REQUIRED to play multiplayer games.

WOW. That totally guts the good will that was built up by their anti-DRM announcement.

So basically, both services will charge a monthly fee for online use. Does it really matter that the PS4 costs $100.00 less? They both plan to take $60.00-$100.00 a year out of our wallets.... every bloody year.

So if I were to buy a next-gen console, I need to pay $400.00-$500.00 upfront for the console, then $200.00 for 2 years online service.. 2 years of ownership will cost me at least $600.00.

I know the internet peanut gallery will be crowing that because of the lower console MSRP, Sony wins this year's E3. But in reality, we all lose.

And it's hilarious that both these consoles look pretty much EXACTLY THE SAME. Just flip the Xbox One on its side.... sheesh. It's like Sony & Microsoft are trolling us.