Game Designers Gone Wild!

E3 has blown into town, dragging along hordes of game designers and fans in its wake. Along with the mad mania of booths hawking upcoming buggy, DRM-laden releases are press conferences from the major game companies, including Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

I took two hours out of my day and watched the 90-minute Microsoft XBox One presser (“Buffering Video” is a bitch out here in the slow-Internet sticks), which was all about the games. Seriously. The games, just the games, nothing but the games.

Some random observations:

• Everything is 4-player multi-player. Because, apparently, Microsoft owners crave the verbal diarrhea of 12-year-old racist, sexist, foul-mouthed dickheads <Irony Alert!, two paragraphs down.>, or their gaming experience just isn’t complete. (And multi-player without any single-player is stupid as shit. Titanfall, I’m looking at you.)

Fable’s implementation was at least unique: one player is a sorta-GM, setting up traps and monsters for the other players to battle through. Finally a role for griefers to glom onto, and leave the rest of us alone.

• Seriously, Ubisoft, you want us to take the side of the mass-murdering masses of the French Revolution, chopping off the heads of tens of thousands of Enemies of the People? Finally a game where you get to play as mass murdering scumbags! So in Assassin’s Creed 17, set in Tripoli in 1942, do we get to help the <Godwin Alert!> SS conquer the world and liquidate suspect subhuman populations? And then a game set in 1930’s Ukraine where we can starve kulaks to death, or 1970’s Kampuchea where we can stack skulls in the Killing Fields? Awesome! Seriously, fuck you, you motherfuckers.

• The Metal Gear Something Something Something trailer made it look like a ripoff of Red Dead Redemption. And the stripperiffic sniper hasn’t gotten any better.

As I once said, Microsoft learns from their mistakes, especially since they dumped the embarrassing Matrick, who’s busy overseeing the decline of Zynga. They’ve also dumped the Kinect and used the extra 10% processing power freed up to boost the performance of games. (Though they have to be written to take advantage of the new graphics capabilities. Which is to say, no help for what’s out now, or for anything on the market in the next year or so, but hope for the future.)

• The press conference confirmed my “wait a year to buy a newly released console” theory. There really are few games for the PS4 and XB1, and very few good games. That should change in the next six months or so, especially with the release of the Master Chief Collection. (Which, oddly, omits the single best Halo game, Halo: ODST. Wait, that’s not right. Halo: Reach. Yeah, that was it.)

• Also GTA V, the best GTA game ever.

• And maybe Skyrim, right Bethesda? Hint, hint, you failed-MMO bastards?

• And Fallout 4. Right? In 2-3 years? Get moving.

Dragon Age Inquisition (and a new Mass Effect)? Not a chance, you greedy, arrogant, narcissistic bastards. Nothing for you. Never, ever, ever again. Not a single penny.

With my recent “Screw this!” to the Playstation (Cloud deleting my saves again, including my %100 Completed, $1.2 billion-dollar GTA V playthrough), I’m once again in the market for an XB1. I could buy a used 360 for $120, but that’d amount to renting the console at a rate of $10 a month (assuming I waited for a year to buy the XB1) or $20 a month (assuming I bought one in the fall). It’s a waste of money.

The Kinect-less XB1 just went on sale, and it’s better to buy in summer than wait for the long lines and months-long delays of Christmas console purchasing. Which pushes up my buying schedule to… What?! Next Friday?! Well, shit.

So, though none of these new multi-player centric games are yet on the shelves (other than Titanfall, screw you assholes), it might be best to buy one soon. At least I can play Dead Rising 3 until something good comes out. (Like Call of Duty: Half-Assed Sci-Fi! That’s the ticket!)

4 thoughts on “Game Designers Gone Wild!”

  1. “With my recent “Screw this!” to the Playstation (Cloud deleting my saves again, including my %100 Completed, $1.2 billion-dollar GTA V playthrough)…”

    Are you sure it’s the cloud at fault and not the game? And isn’t the cloud save should just be a backup of what’s in the Game Saves file, so it should still be there. Maybe. I don’t know what GTAV does with saves.

  2. Long story. I started getting “You’re out of space, and we can’t do anything about it or upload anything.” messages when I booted up the console. So I clicked Cloud and went into the Cloud and found some saves, and deleted a bunch of garbage from games I’d rented off GameFly, plus a lot of Skyrim saves.

    Then I rebooted, and found out that it had deleted them from the Cloud. And my hard drive.

    The fuck?!

    Let’s suppose it was totally my fault, that I did something stupid. It’s possible. I’ve done stupid things before. But there should be no way to delete Cloud saves, and have the system remove them from local storage. It’s moronic. It’s a massive UI design FAIL.

    But I had space for a few months. Until I didn’t, and it started throwing “We tried to upload, but we can’t, we just can’t!” errors on boot. Again.

    So I turned off Cloud saves. And it deleted all my saves from all my games (except the ones that hadn’t been backed up) from the Cloud. And my hard drive.

    GTA V, The Rest of Us, everything. And I said “Fuck you, Sony!” and I pulled out my 360 with a broken DVD drive (which means I can’t play any of my disk-based games) and bought GTA V for the third time, via On Demand, and some DLC for Borderlands 2 and State of Decay, and contemplated rebuying the Gears of War series. I even found myself browsing through the three Modern Warfare COD’s, On Demand, trying to decide which one to buy.

    And I stopped myself. Because that’s just madness. $15 dollars for a game I already own on disk, which I could buy for $5.00 used and wouldn’t play hardly at all, anyway? Total stupidity.

    So I started looking for used consoles and calculating per-month expenditures for that versus buying an XB1. Which brought me to me “well, maybe in the next couple of months” decision.

    Sony had me, and they lost me. Even if it was totally my fault, the UI should be designed so people can’t empty their local hard drive clearing off space on the Cloud. (And the Cloud should be designed so that isn’t fucking necessary. Call Backblaze, assholes, who did it right, and for an entire PC, not just a stupid console.)

    Straw. Back. Camel.

    Like I said, long story. Apologies.

  3. On your hard drive you have two save files – Game Data and Save Data. Save Data holds the game’s progress for each game. This is that file that is copied when updating the cloud. on the other hand Game Data holds stuff which is pertinent to the game itself, like DLC etc. If you’re looking to free up space, then delete from Game Data. Never delete from Save Data.

    Check out your Save Data file to see if that is the one you deleted from. If it is, and you also went into the cloud and deleted the files there, then yes you are screwed. But to be fair, if this is what has happened then it’s no different from choosing to format a drive and then complaining that all the data is gone.

    There is no connection between deleting on the cloud and on your local drive. The cloud is a backup only. If Save Data is empty its because it was manually done. If you haven’t done it, then maybe someone else has.

    I’ve heard the VIta does something different with data, but I’m not sure what it is.

  4. BTW, I do agree that MS have really turned the XB1 around.It’s a shame that it took some major mistakes for them to learn the lessons, but at least they did learn them. I doubt unplugging the Kinect will close the gap for cross-platform titles, (as the PS4’s 1080 vs. XB1’s 900 Diablo 3 shows), but it may well narrow it to the point where XB1 users don’t care about it.

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