abeeken Comments

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  • What's going on at Criterion?

  • abeeken 17/07/2014

    @TheDoctor11 How about Burnout Classic, a new approach to remasters which combines all the tracks and vehicles from those games in a shiny wrapper, like the multiplayer in the Halo Master Chief set! God, that would be a remake I'd get behind! Reply +15
  • abeeken 17/07/2014

    @jabberwocky I still hold it as my favourite arcade racer of all time and regularly play my GameCube copy. It was a multiplayer favourite with me and my gaming chums when it first came out. Ocean Sprint FTW. Reply +5
  • Kickstarter-funded Yogventures canned, backers given Steam key for another game instead

  • abeeken 17/07/2014

    Kickstarter is, indeed a huge risk, not just for the backers but for the reputation of the company involved in the project should it all go belly up.

    It worries me in a way; I've been self financing my short films for the last two years, basically cutting corners and DIY'ing where I can, however it's getting to the point where we're getting more and more ambitious with our output and I'm going to have to start thinking about financing options. One of these is crowdfunding; there have been so many good stories come out of it (a filmmaking friend of mine managed to raise a significant budget for his feature film through crowdfunding) but there have also been stories of projects simply failing to materialise. If I'm asking people for money to help me make something, I want to know I can deliver and meet the expectations of those backers.
    Reply +5
  • Sony: PS4 targeting Wii owners who skipped PS3 and Xbox 360

  • abeeken 16/07/2014

    @bez87 It's a shame - they plugged away at EyeToy on PS2 and found some genuinely creative uses for it. Unfortunately Move and, from Microsofts side, Kinect are largely untapped.

    People criticise Nintendo for putting "gimmicks" into their hardware, but actually tying things like the WIiMote and the Gamepad into the system itself forces developers, including first party developers, to think about ways they can use that technology to deliver different or at least evolved gameplay experiences.

    Unfortunately, Sony and Microsoft's motion efforts were, and still are, "me-too" hardware.
    Reply +2
  • abeeken 16/07/2014

    @dogmanstaruk God forbid anyone shows them Attic Atac in a ZX Speccy. How did I get through the 80's playing games without slashing my wrists or drinking bleach? Reply +4
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @Olew69 Jog on, Olew! Can't you see we're having an argument about video games here?? Reply +1
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @dogmanstaruk No, don't suggest that people buy older hardware to play games, you fool! What about the graphics?? The 720p's may make their eyes melt! How did people live through the last gen? How did they not wake up every morning feeling wretched and deaspairing of life?? Oh the humanity!! Reply +2
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @EricJohn004 Calm down there son; you'll rupture something if you're not careful. You may want to check your tone before you engage someone in conversation...

    I find it interesting that this is an issue this generation when it has never been before; when the PS3 came out, no one cried that Shadow of the Colossus or God of War 2 wasn't available for it. People looked to the new gen as something that would provide NEW experiences! not rehashes of the last gen.

    I'm not against remakes at all (which I kind of hoped you'd got from my post, but clearly not) as they are good for maintaining archives of our gaming heritage, something that is becoming increasingly important as game a move to online models, becoming harder to retain.

    What I AM against is remaking games barely a year old and using them as justification for consumers to buy into 400 pieces of hardware. I'm not denying you your games, if that's what you want; I'm not going to chain myself to a videogame store front crying "No, EricJohn004! You will NOT have your Last of Us Remake! Cease this folly now!" But, for me, its not a convincing argument to upgrade my hardware.

    Everyone's situation is different. Everyone's opinion is different. We should never forget our heritage in this hobby, but we should also be encouraging developers to challenge both themselves and us with new ideas. Alas, I don't think that's entirely what the current audience wants.
    Reply +7
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @moroboshi I think 3D has its place, but it's overused. Something made with 3D in mind (The Hobbit, for example) looks sumptuous. For games, too, it can be sublime if used well (The Puppeteer is a fantastic example) but can be a bit much if it's not (I found Assassins Creed 3 pretty much unplayable in 3D) Reply +2
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @moroboshi I'm cool with navigating using the DS; I do that at the moment on my PS3 and have kind of gotten used to it.

    I think the thing that bugs me is the lack of 3D, especially considering Sony were bigging it up so badly on PS3 (yes, I do like the option of watching something in 3D!) and, from what I gather, the rather poor quality of upscaling.

    Basically, my PS3 is my primary BD/DVD player and I don't want to take a feature hit in upgrading.
    Reply +4
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    To everyone saying "Game X was my all time favourite, oh my God I would play the living balls out of it if it was re-released in HD, yes sir I would!"...

    I understand. I've BEEN there. Hell, I AM there. I rebuy games through things like GOG and Steam that I've had on other systems thinking "Oh, I am SO playing that again on my PC where it will look all purdy and stuff!". So I do that, I install them, I put them on. I play for a while, think "Oh, that is nice. How pretty. Yeah. Nice." And I turn them off, never really touch them again, maybe look at them in my library and think - "Yeah, that games good. I'm glad I've got a copy of it."

    BUT none of those games justify me buying a new system for. I buy a new system for NEW games. If I want to play an old game so badly that's on an old system, I'll keep that system, probably disconnected in a cupboard somewhere with the game on my display shelves.
    Reply +8
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    @Samael_Blackwing I tried W101 multiplayer with my kids at the weekend, both of them on Pro Controllers. The eldest is 8, youngest is 5 and I did think they'd get frustrated at the game but they got the fact that they had to use the right stick to activate their powers in seconds and we all had a blast. I think it's going to be one of those games that is seriously re-evaluated in the future. Reply +2
  • abeeken 15/07/2014

    Look, I want a PS4, but you're not going to attract me by simply churning out remastered games. I think using the movie industry as an example is a little naive. Disney reintroduces content because, on a whole, the format they're reintroducing it on doesn't change as frequently as the format for games. Films are reissued on new formats probably once every ten years at least, with remasters often coming out without consumers having to invest in new hardware.

    If I have to shell out 400 on a new piece of kit I want to know that there is something there that is compelling me to do so. I've bought new games machines not only because of improved image quality but also because they have shown, over the last thirty odd years, an evolution in the way I experience the game. I just don't see that with this new generation - it feels like a new iteration for new iterations sake.

    We can throw VR into the mix here but I'm not convinced that consumers will lap it up in the way that enthusiasts are insisting they will. I'm not putting down the technology in any way, it's good tech, the same way that Kinect is, but I, personally, don't think it will take off in a huge way. And with all the pushing for remakes, reimaginings and rampant sequelitis, I think we're falling into a spell where creativity is lacking from AAA titles. The indies have brought back some classic genres and it's great to see things like space sims come back, but the amount of kickstarters out there shows, I think, a lack of faith from the big publishers to want to deviate from the path well trod.

    I may be a jaded old bastard, but I've been playing these vidjumah games since the mid 80's; I've seen the medium evolve, flourish and mature and now, I feel like it's stagnating. Am I the only one?

    So, for the moment, I'll stick with my PS3, with it's superior Blu Ray playback (if anyone wants to correct me, feel free, but I gather that the PS4 has shocking BD capabilities) and my Wii U with its generational back compatibility and genuinely creative innovation. I hope that, by Christmas, Sony will have won me round, but I'm not running out to get one until they do.
    Reply +13
  • New Fire Emblem characters playable in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS

  • abeeken 14/07/2014

    @imagonnawin Definitely. A lack of unlockables in modern games is a damn shame - playing some older games recently makes me remember the real sense of progression you got, particularly in fighting and racing games. Smash always had character and stage unlocks which was pretty cool, especially given how broad the developers went with fan service.

    Modern racing games also seem to either favour open world or season based games over simply being able to pick a car and a track and race. Look at Burnout 2 compared to modern Criterion NFS games - the process of racing to unlock cars and tracks made it seem like you were constantly being rewarded. I found the recent NFS Most Wanted to be quite boring, having to drive around streets to "find" cars to unlock, plus the ability to not simply be able to pick a track, class and car and just race.
    Reply +2
  • abeeken 14/07/2014

    @Sapporodan I never found the reskins in previous games to be overly bothersome as they often felt different (Falco was quicker than Fox but slightly less powerful, while Wolf was slower but packed a bit more of a punch)

    It does seem like they're going for some more unique playstyles this time around, which is interesting.
    Reply +4
  • abeeken 14/07/2014

    @skowhegan Falco was always my go to character but there's some interesting play styles on the newer characters in this one. My eldest boy is getting SSB3DS in October so I'll be having a play on that before I get the Wii U version (which will ultimately get some family multiplayer hammering!) Reply +2
  • abeeken 14/07/2014

    Interesting! I sure hope that Nintendo are leaving some of the unlockables secret, though - part of the appeal of Melee and Brawl was seeing that "New challenger!" screen and then being surprised by - "Oh! Dr Mario! Cool!"

    Here's hoping for some of those moments! :)
    Reply +8
  • It's early days, but Sunless Sea is already fascinating

  • abeeken 14/07/2014

    This sounds absolutely delightful! I'm a sucker for sea exploration games; the loneliness you get from exploring large expanses of dark water is often incredibly compelling. With the exploration aspect this also looks a bit like a 2D oceanic version of No Mans Sky. Reply +4
  • David Braben explains Elite: Dangerous 100 premium beta

  • abeeken 11/07/2014

    While I don't have the cash to fork out on this, at least DB is being up front about why they chose the pricing model. Yes, there were probably better ideas, but at least we know their plans for the retail release which I for one will be lapping up. Reply +2
  • Alien: Isolation's Ripley DLC isn't just for pre-orders

  • abeeken 11/07/2014

    Such conflicting emotions...

    This gets my inner geek and lifetime Alien fanboy cartwheeling about the place...


    It's pre-order content initially (yes, I know it's coming later but I think that's a real rum deal, personally) when we don't know just how well the game will hold up. If Colonial Marines had been an unmitigated success instead of the disaster it was, I think I'd be signing up to get this on day one. As is, I'll wait it out.
    Reply +4
  • Heavenly Sword movie has a release date

  • abeeken 10/07/2014

    I quite liked Heavenly Sword (more for its story) but this just seems a bit duff, especially without Andy Serkis as Bohan. His performance seemed deliciously unhinged which I'm not really getting from Molina. Reply +2
  • How strong exactly is PlayStation's 2014 line-up?

  • abeeken 09/07/2014

    E3 left me feeling a bit... conflicted.

    I'm glad I've got my Wii U because there are some amazing games on it now and Nintendo seriously impressed me with their future lineup.

    But I was hoping to come out of it feeling excited about getting another console.

    I've been invested in PS-Plus for three years now, curating a collection of PS4 games but, honestly? Sony's presentation didn't sell me on a PS4. From what I gather the Blu-Ray playback is still sub-par in comparison to PS3, PS Now doesn't seem to be the service I was hoping (what about letting people who already own available games and have them on their PSN account, stream them as part of Plus?) and I'm not sure what use I'd have for PS-Tv. Game wise I felt underwhelmed; DriveClub looks excellent but racing games have never sold me on a machine; I want a narrative experience and, outside of InFamous, Uncharted and possibly Knack, there's nothing on PS4 that stands out. No Man's Sky, however, looks amazing, but doesn't have a set release.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, threw out game after game; Sunset Overdrive, Scaleborn, Fable Legends (why hasn't a game like this hit Wii U yet??), Phantom Dust, Ori, Crackdown. That's an impressive line up with some good looking original IP in there. I look at those games and go "Wow! I really want to play them!"

    But, I don't want an XBox One. I felt like the 360, which was my console of choice for a very long time, tailed off, became a sluggish beast with a bloated interface focussed on pushing adverts in my face constantly and blocking me access to subscription services behind its own subscription paywall. I know that things are changing, but getting burned once makes you wary. Also I'm very invested in PS Plus and wouldn't want to pay for Gold on top of that.

    And there lies another issue - PS Plus. I have SO MANY GAMES to play on Plus I wouldn't want to ditch my PS3, however I don't really have anywhere to put it as my entertainment system is crowded enough as is.

    Choices and decisions.

    TL;DR - I'm concerned that investing in a PS4 OR One at this stage will leave me feeling a bit sour. With Wii U I think things were different; I could port my saves and games, leave the Wii behind and look on it as an upgrade. This feels too much like starting over and I simply don't think there is the incentive there for this.

    EDIT: Just to add to this, I'm talking about exclusive games here. I invest in a machine because it has games I can't play on another platform. If any of the consoles don't provide me with a compelling reason to do that, I'll pick up third parties on PC until they do, BUT I much prefer couch gaming over sitting in my office.
    Reply +16
  • EA: FIFA 14 and UFC 4 demo price due to a "technical error"

  • abeeken 04/07/2014

    "...was due to a technical error"
    Reply +47
  • Miyamoto: Nintendo "gradually changing the structure" of The Legend of Zelda

  • abeeken 04/07/2014

    @Mister-Wario Personally I'd love to see them go back to the structure of a Sunshine like game. There are no free roaming, objective based platform games on the market at the moment - by that I mean things like 64, Sunshine, Jak & Daxter; games where you have a large, zoned world which encourages exploration and revisiting earlier areas to find new items and challenges. Sunshine still remains my favourite 3D Mario (even over Galaxy) because of this sense of exploration and "world" - Delfino felt like a fully realised location and I don't think a Mario game since then has come close to that, being more scattershot in their ideas. That doesn't make them bad, but it doesn't really make them unique. Reply +6
  • UK watchdog bans Dungeon Keeper ad, accuses EA of "misleading" customers

  • abeeken 02/07/2014

    When I first started playing touch based games, my immediate thought was "Wow! This kind of interface would be amazing for games like C&C and Dungeon Keeper!"

    What has happened since - horrors, unspeakable horrors...
    Reply +40
  • Google reveals Cardboard, the company's inexpensive take on VR

  • abeeken 26/06/2014

    @the_dudefather It wouldn't surprise me if BP did this kind of thing. Gone are the days of building Tracey Island and a sewer base for your Turtles figures, it would seem... #singletear Reply +5
  • abeeken 26/06/2014

    I'd actually really love to give this a crack. If it works as well as some people are saying it's almost a deconstruction of the multi-million dollar VR industry (that I still see little practical use for as a consumer device! #moanmoan #oldmanshakingcane #damnkids) Reply +10
  • Have mobile graphics finally surpassed last-gen console?

  • abeeken 26/06/2014

    @famous_roy This is why I really want to play Sunset Overdrive - it's a sci-fi action game that actually has some humour and colour to it. Makes me miss games like Jet Set Radio; we don't need everything to be hyper-real to have fun! Reply +4
  • abeeken 26/06/2014

    @Widge Totally agree - again, proof that modern gaming is simply all about the visuals. "It has all the polygons!" But none of the gameplay and charm. Move along! Reply +7
  • Crytek UK exodus sparks concern over Homefront: The Revolution

  • abeeken 25/06/2014

    @Koffdrop I think the issue I have is that AAA multiglobally managed developers seem to be pushing more and more for the annual released games which add little to the franchise, and I think that's tiring me somewhat. It almost feels like it's over-saturating the market leaving little room for those special, one off experiences outside of the indie games.

    I don't have an answer for it; perhaps it's my age, but I just don't think there's anything out there at the moment that's trying to raise the bar. There's been very few games over the last three or so years that have made me go "Wow! This one's a keeper!"
    Reply 0
  • abeeken 24/06/2014

    @Koffdrop I spent the best part of a year trying to get a games industry job back in 2003, ultimately falling into website development instead. Despite a further year of trying to get in, I eventually moved on and I'm glad I did. I now have a family and I think that the pressures of working in games might have put a stopper in that.

    The industry just seems so fickle and, from a consumer perspective, has become more focused than ever on big business in the last few years. I just don't see the creativity any more outside of the indie scene.
    Reply +1
  • abeeken 24/06/2014

    Very sad - I had a very high regard for Free Radical and their IP, but CryTek seem to have muzzled them since the takeover. Another example of a smart developer full of talented people being misused by a larger publisher who has no interest in their ability to actually design and create (see also Rare).

    I wish those involved well and hope they can find meaningful employment in the industry.
    Reply 0
  • Hearthstone Naxxramas expansion shown off in leaked images

  • abeeken 24/06/2014

    @Der_tolle_Emil I think a problem I have is that I'm a Magic player so the 30 card decks and 2 card per deck limit seem slightly restrictive. I like to play reasonably tank-y decks in Magic so the Mage is a good class for me, but it's finding that balance between putting up a good Taunt barrier and being able to hit out with offensive spells. Reply 0
  • abeeken 24/06/2014

    Really need to get back into Hearthstone; I dropped out of playing when I went on holiday for a week (no internets - the bane of an always online requirement in games!) and haven't really felt the urge. I did have a couple of games yesterday but got thoroughly pasted with my unbalanced Mage deck (if you don't get the cheap cards out early, you're screwed!) which didn't help. Reply +1
  • Resogun's free update adds co-op play, spaceship editor

  • abeeken 23/06/2014

    This is sat on my PSN account waiting for 'dat PS4... not just yet, my pretty... not just yet... Reply +4
  • Pullblox World review

  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @null Actually, I think that was one of the better things they've done. Even better would be letting the games show up on the Wii U eshop and load into the emulation wrapper when they're started. One thing the transfer does do is move the licenses across to the new system so that they're in line with the NNID. This means that you can get discounts to upgrade to the Wii U version should you wish. I'm hoping this wall also work to unify the system in the long run but I'm not entirely sure Nintendo have thought this out.

    EDIT: To clarify - Nintendo allowing you to transfer digital purchases was a godsend - neither Sony or MS have allowed this. Bought something on XBox 360 or PS3? It stays tied to that system because XBOne and PS4 are not back compatible. Moving from Wii to Wii U? Great! Move your stuff over and unhook that old console because you can play all your old games on this new one! That was a great move.
    Reply +8
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @vert1go I've always taken the World tag to mean "On the TV console" That kind of stretches back to when we had Super Mario LAND on the GB and WORLD on the SNES and even more so reflects that with SM3D LAND on 3DS and SM3D WORLD on Wii U. Reply +9
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @null The PS3 store is abominable, clunky and slow. The Vita I also find very hard work. XBLM used to be good until they changed up the interface and then that too was horrible. Really I find many online console shopfronts hard work; the interfaces aren't really set up for casual browsing which kind of makes sense from a corporate viewpoint as it pushes users to the more recent content and is likely to make them spend more in the short term. I think it's also compacted by the sheer amount of content that we have on them. Steam is a good example of this however I also feel it has one of the best and clearest interfaces. Reply +2
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @Samael_Blackwing That's very interesting - I'll have to check that out on my 3DS later. It still brings to question why they can't have a purchase on one activate a download on the other. Certainly for the NES VC titles it's starting to get a little unacceptable... Reply +2
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    I do love how Nintendo do their "Own this, get this at a discount" thing, very pro consumer, HOWEVER I would like to point out the connotations of owning something on the 3DS and getting a discount on the Wii U game - this clearly indicates that an NNID account can see and understand what you have on both devices in order to apply this discount. SO, why no cross buy? Why AT LEAST no cross discount? I defended the lack of this when NNID wasn't on 3DS but this clearly shows that, in concept at least, it is possible. Unless, of course, the recognition is only one way and the 3DS wouldn't be able to see what was on the Wii U account (although I'm sure that could be patched in).

    Anyway, RANT OVER! Pullblox is an excellent game and a brilliant new franchise for Nintendo. I do hope it gets referenced in Smash Bros. and it's especially nice to see portable franchises like this make the jump to mobile. I still hope we can see Dillon in a full AAA free roaming 3D adventure game on Wii U soon. Rolling Western was great and I'd love to see what could happen if the character was broken out of the Tower Defence model. There's not enough 3D platformers ala Jak & Daxter/ Ratchet & Clank around these days.
    Reply +9
  • Editor's blog: I am sexist

  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    You know, I've kind of gone through a similar thing recently. When the AC:Unity discussion kicked off last week I got talking to my wife about it during a car journey.

    "Yes," she argued "There is a worryingly low amount of women in games who are not there simply for eye candy."

    "But," I countered "What of the artistic integrity? Does every story have to have a woman in the lead? Isn't it going to stifle creativity with people worrying whether they have enough of a female/ethnic/LGBT presence in their story?"

    "But why don't they? Why does every story focus on straight, white males?"

    And I took a pause. I couldn't come up with anything other than "Because..." and that, is, in hindsight, a pretty shitty response.

    Why? Because...

    It also led me to recall this particularly pertinent episode of South Park. I think I relate to this on this subject and, unless you're an out and out, proud to be bigot, you will to:

    Reply +17
  • Microsoft pledges to support Rare

  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @GooseUK Unfortunately I don't think that's the case. When they were Free Radical (who were indeed all ex Rare) they were putting out some great products, including the sublime TimeSplitters games. From what I gather, though, Crytek now have them solely working on the multiplayer component of future Crysis games. I do hope that's not the case, but I may be wrong as I seem to remember it was an equal bone of contention for fans. Reply +2
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @Confucius There was a semi-modern version of Sabre Wulf released for the GBA a while back by Rare. I'm pretty sure they own the licenses for the Ultimate games. An open world Sabre Wulf would absolutely kill it for me, though. Rare pretty much redefined the 3D platform game with Banjo and it's a genre that is disappointingly lacking these days. Reply +1
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    Of course they're supporting Rare! They're putting Conker into Project Spark! What more do you people want, an actual game?? Don't be silly!! Reply +2
  • Fables Legends is the Lionhead game you always wanted, but never asked for

  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @Vargavinter Microsoft could use this to push Smartglass and introduce local co-op multiplayer; four players split screen on the telly (maybe dynamic split screen like the Lego games) and one on Smartglass. Reply +7
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @hiddenranbir It has that particularly British style of whimsy to it - you can see the influences of the likes of Terry Pratchett, which is why I think Fable 2 benefitted from the Rhianna Pratchett script; she tends to share her fathers penchant for wry comedy (while still being able to pull out decent serious writing - see Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge) Reply +3
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    @Confucius Not yet... my ongoing PS+ subscription gives PS4 the edge over this but even then I'm waiting to see if the firmware improves at all (my PS3 is also my Blu Ray player and I gather the playback on PS4 is a bit shocking?) - probably Christmas for that one.

    As for the One, that's not for a while yet. My Wii U, PS3 and PC are keeping things ticking over at the moment and, after seeing how well the Hardline beta runs on my PC, I'm not so hungry for so called next gen just yet.
    Reply -4
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    In all honesty; why is there nothing like this on Wii U yet? Yes, there was that Zombi U game mode which was great fun, but that was two player only. I'd think a dynamic multiplayer dungeoncrawler like this would be a no brainer on the pad? Reply +5
  • abeeken 19/06/2014

    Damn it, Microsoft, I was adamant I wasn't interested in XBox One and then you roll this and Sunset Overdrive out! What am I to do? Reply +12
  • Another World out on PS4, PS3 and Vita next week

  • abeeken 18/06/2014

    @bigfriendlygamer I got to the part where you're flanked by three aliens in a corridor and have to attack in a way that is extremely awkward given the control system. I'm still stuck on that in the 15th Anniversary copy I have on Windows and I refuse to admit defeat by using a password (stubborn) Reply 0