Thursday, April 16, 2009

User-Created Content? Do you care?

I was just watching this video that Joystiq linked and it got me thinking about the ever controversial topic of user-created content.

When the Xbox 360 was first being announced it was touted as the platform of user-created content and user-customization of the console itself. Since that we have seen little that makes it "the console" for user-created content. Sure you have the affor-somewhat-mentioned (as in the link above that you should clickity-click) user created Forge maps in Halo 3 but really it is only modification, the basic groundwork for most, if not all (I am guessing that Sandbox could be different), levels is already laid. Sure this user-created content debacle has been talked about and Microsoft Certification is surely the one(s) to blame but the real question is how many people care about the ability to make user-create items?

I know that there is that core mod community who would love nothing more than to have mods enables in UT3 (Unreal Tournament 3) but my guess is that the greater majority of people do not give a crap. I say this perhaps because I do not give a crap most of the time. I am happy that the Forge in H3 is there, don't get me wrong, but I would not die without it. What I like about it the most is that I will always have fresh variations of that game to play.

I also thought that LitteBigPlanet was going to be great but I am telling you right now, there is a good chance I would have not created anything and there is a better chance that I would have not downloaded many if any user-created maps. So what it really comes down to is how much you care about user-created content? Comment.

On top of that, like I said earlier, 360 was shown as the user-modifiable console but we all know what road that went down. The faceplate is probably a bigger failure than the RROD itself a similar failure to RROD numbers (that still doesn't sound right) but naturally it does not matter because everyone cares about functionality more than a removable faceplate. The only time anyone cares about a faceplate is when there was only five of a specific one released. Again there is a tiny community that this caters to still but Microsoft has virtually dropped all support of these snap on pieces of plastic. Just a question, how many people thought that they broke their console when they first tried to rip one of these of the front? Another question, how many people know at this point that the thing even comes off? This isn't something I talk about when I am trying to sell someone I know an Xbox. In terms of customization, I am fine with gamer pics and themes.

I am of the opinion that if the creator did not make it, it was never intended to be there and that is just how I like it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Game Diary - April 14, 2009 Nothing Going On

The last time I played any bit of any game was on Saturday and that was Peggle. I really need to get back to it but this new dog game I have been playing has really been monopolizing my time.

I have actually been playing 'The World Ends With You' on my train rides. It has suddenly become very difficult.

Short post.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bioshock 2 Gameplay Trailer Impressions

I promised all of you that I would give you my opinions on the gameplay trailer of Bioshock 2 and I am here to keep that promise. First, if you have not yet seen the trailer (I will not berate you this time), here it is:


Alright... Did you watch it two or three times? Good.

I am going to say it. It does not "look" bad and I can honestly say that the Big Sister (which is still a really dumb idea) is looking to make this game sufficiently creepy. She is quick and has that same disembodied voice that is all the rage among Little Sisters. A cool effect in the trailer is when the glass breaks and you are submerged under water and the last gameplay aspect that looks fun is the ability to "be" a Big Daddy (drill and all) and still use plasmids at the same time (though it did happen at the end of the first).

Now for the obvious skepticism that really has nothing to do with the trailer. First, we know that this is a prequel and that you are the first Big Daddy. Now that we have the ground work laid, how did a Big Sis turn into a Big Pa where does she end up going at the end? Are these going to be big revelations or stupid explanations that are so full of plot holes that it makes Rapture look like a shinning star in the ocean.

I want it to be good but the question of whether it can deliver or not will remain until the game ships and critical opinion pours in. Okay enough water puns I'll speak with you all very soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Amazon XBLA Marketplace and Xbox Live Primetime (XBLP)

I have not found any so called Xbox news specifically interesting lately so the fact that I am writing this post lets you know that there is something worth reading for some folks (I can't make the kind of promise that you will all care because I know that it would be rather presumptous to assume that). There have been a couple bits of Xbox news that I thought were interesting in the past week that I found myself wanting to write about.

One is that Amazon is selling Xbox Live Arcade game codes on top of the codes that they already sell for memberships and Space Bucks Microsoft Points. I think that this is cool and I may even consider this way of purchasing for some of my games (probably the ones I already know that I am going to buy). I'll do this mainly because I want to see a good service suceed in many ways (I love both Amazon and obviously Xbox and I am estatic about this little partnership).

What it comes down to is that I really think this program is designed to just sell more units on XBLA and to make it a more popular platform. I really think that it will help XBLA sales numbers. I also think that it will not matter much to the "hardcore" because they already use the online Xbox Marketplace for their online shopping needs. This could also be helpful to those who find the Microsoft Points program assinine. In the end though I think that this program could have been more viable before Microsoft launched the online Marketplace (BTW: BUY THIS IF YOU HAVE AN XBOX).

The second point of contention is that Xbox Live Primetime (XBLP) will be launching on May 15. It will be sponsored by Honda and it looks like you can win a car if you umm... win (it is is one of Xbox's Play & Win competitions so there will not be endless cars people). I am interested to see what the prizes will be beyond the initial car so bring it on Microsoft. This news post actually brought XBLP to my attention once again. I had forgotten. Awkward. Anyway I hope it is as good as I once wanted it to be.

Stay tuned for my Bioshock 2 gameplay trailer impressions: coming soon!