Recently EA have spoken in secret about the Nintendo NX and their lack of plans to develop for it. They outlined a bunch of things that Nintendo is required to do in order to be blessed with EA’s fantastic library of quality games. To sum it up, they want Nintendo to “provide a market for sports games” by throwing millions of dollars on sports advertising. They just want a userbase that will buy sports games. Sound fair?
So after kicking the couchsurfers out of the study and with the girlfriend away I settled in for a big weekend of that new SimCity game everyone has been complaining about. And hey the 2.0 patch just came out, so they must’ve fixed all the bugs and added a host of new features right? Well, let’s just say Maxis’ approach to version numbering is ‘non-traditional’. In fact since starting this draft article on Monday they’ve released two patches, containing a solitary bug fix each. The version numbering appears to represent the amount of time since launch, since any reasonable person could not claim this game to be out of beta.
After a ridiculous “Xbox 360 time-exclusive” period where you had to sign up to Origin, Xbox Live and the Dead Space official website to get the demo, it’s finally available for free on PSN. I downloaded it and decided to write some impressions because I really liked the first Dead Space (and Extraction). The first thing the game asked me to do is read two large documents and agree to the “terms and conditions”. I just scrolled down and agreed to whatever it was like a good consumer. The next screen told me to sign into my Origin account, this was so I could get access to the online mode and a possible patch for it. No thanks EA; while it’s nice that the demo has access to online play, I don’t have an Origin account and I will never get one. It’s one more step between starting the game and playing it that nobody needs. Playstation, Xbox, Wii U all have accounts we’ve already signed into. By the way, a patch for a demo is called a “game”. After declining to sign into Origin, another popup appears asking “are you sure?” as if I’m doing something wrong. I already hate this game.
Wii U isn’t bombing hard enough for some journalists to feel secure, and another desperate doom article has surfaced. This “sports expert” on Kotaku has decided Wii U’s fate rests on Madden. Only 42 people were playing Madden on Wii U at some random point on Sunday, while Xbox 360 had 194236 billion people online! What do you have to say about THAT, Nintendo?
EA is intent on taking over the games industry with their shitty Origin / Autolog / Social / ShitForBrains account systems and self-contained EA store. So much that they’re shunning platform holders and destroying game experiences in reckless pursuit of this arrogant goal. We already have Xbox Live, PSN accounts and friend codes, so what’s the big deal? Why not just get an EA account too? Firstly, it means logging in TWICE to play a console game. Now let’s take a look at the biggest EA release of the year, Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
- One track available at the start
- Driver Cam with stupid blur and bouncy effects is default
- Mandatory PS3 installation “it will now install, go for a 40 minute walk“
- Can’t play online without EA account
- Can’t play game without 3-step prompt to sign-in online
- Time Trial has Time Limit
- Driver XP bar exists while racing in every mode including Time Trial
- Idiot gives advice before every session in every mode
- Can’t skip cutscenes
- Can’t skip video advertising of EA Autolog
- Tutorial before you can play
- Game picks difficulty for you based on the first race
- Buying the first car links to the PS Store to spend real money
- Long load times
- Menu cluttered with VIP store options, code redemption screens and online pass sign-ins
- Options don’t always save
- Game crashes in Endurance Mode
- XP awards for following a questionable racing line
- Achievements for individual corners
- Achievements that aren’t “win the race”
Handling is good & the tracks are awesome, so I give this game 9 out of 10.
In a fresh PR announcement nobody asked for, EA has decided to tell the world that Wii U sucks. After Mass Effect 3 was released in the Wii U launch period and sold like shit (even less than Tekken), they’ve concluded that there is no market for quality games on the system.
The way we game today is vastly different from just five years ago and worlds apart from prehistoric times when we blew into cartridges in the vain attempt to bring them to life on our fuzzy cathode ray tubes. Gaming is so different and continues to change so fast that many warn against trying to predict the future, for fear of looking foolish in hindsight. You won’t find such cowardice from me though and unlike some, who have built careers out of looking like fools, I’ll be correct. I’ll be correct because I’ve already had months of hindsight, using my incredible brain to critically evaluate last weeks news and extrapolating an accurate future from it. There were five key pieces of news last week that taken alone barely warrant comment but together shape the future direction of video game delivery. In decades to come I will be seen as a gaming prophet, the chosen one, able to divine meaning from these cryptic runes.Continue reading “The Week that Shaped the Future of Gaming.”
The SimCity brand has been through a lot. The last good SimCity was SimCity 4, released back in the start of 2003, but even that wasn’t a true step up from SimCity 3000 until the Rush Hour expansion. Future expansions were theorised but never eventuated, leaving the game’s enthusiastic modding community to push the game engine to it’s theoretical limits and polish SimCity 4 into a kind of modern society simulator come digital train set. Since then, EA have kept original developer Maxis distracted with Spore while conspiring with Tilted Mill Entertainment to ruin the franchise with SimCity Societies and forcing their Japanese affiliates to badly port remixes of SimCity 3000 to DS and iOS. Apparently they also got the work experience kids to make a unique SimCity for Wii but no one actually played it because, you know, it was a third party game on the Wii. EA’s latest betrayal of Will Wright’s legacy is assigning Playfish to develop SimCity Social for Facebook.