Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fair play out the door. Konami at a crossroads. TGS Impressions

What's wrong with this picture?

Beside the odd picture of a ten man wall, PES/WE was the talk of Tokyo Game Show, with long lines and impressions from IGN to Gamespot. With a Xbox live demo in the horizon, already out in EU, impressions of the beautiful game will vary. With EA arguably the edge of licensed teams and the FIFA seal, Konami and its beloved franchise is at crossroads. With an updated AI, Teamvision, is what the developer describes as the AI will adapt to regular attack paterns and counter effectively agaisnt it. What can Konami implement in PES/WE, besides improved AI, to stay revelant and fresh? How can Konami use its lack of licenses agaisnt EA? Besides updating player models, or adding a 2K legends mode, Konami can add features that EA will never be allowed to do under the FIFA Seal.

Konami has announced two features that are equivalent to American Football's stiff arm, the dive and holding on a jersey. Diving, will be used to "win" referee rulings over hard or soft tackles. Typically despised in Barclays Premiership but often implemented worldwide. Tugging on other player shirts is a big deal, as it will probably be used to slow players down. Shirt tugging and diving, which is allowed on PES/WE (confirmed), is considered cheating and a agaisnt Fair Play rules. Diving is an automatic yellow! These features will never ever be allowed on a Fifa sanctioned game, basically EA will shy away from these features.
Can we expect this any time soon by EA

Konami has only announced two of these metagames, hopefully it only adds more depth to the game rather than grief to an online oppenent.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bioshock GOTY and Why

"The more one is absorbed in fighting evil, the less one is tempted to place the good in question."
-Jean-Paul Satre
So, I was one of the lucky few to get Bioshock early and I can say with great passion, "best game so far." There is nothing else to say that has yet to be mention by the countless reviews, Bioshock does the little things right. The details to the art deco style, to the background music, AI chatter and overarching modern story are executed well.The art deco surroundings to the propaganda posters are influence by art in the 1940s and 50s. The statues, the slogans written on banners and walls creates the illusion of an era trapped in time. The art Images similiar from the Spanish Civil War propaganda posters brings an authencity to the enviroment where other developers fail to execute (Resistance: Fall of Man and Gears of War come to my mind).The intro of the game has you traveling through a submarine transport into the sea level City of Rapture. Through the descent, the buildings of Rapture are the first examples of art deco used through out the game. The first building is a lighthouse, illuminating in the fog. The imagery is fascinating, the viewer is used to seeing the skyskappers blocked by clouds, with airplanes and helicopters navigating in the skyline. Now we are allowed to see the art deco buildings through translucent water with whales and octopuses manuerving through the ocean. POUMAnother aspect of Bioshock, executed very well, is the music. A quick list of songs, La Mer- Django Reinhardt,Papa Loves Mambo: Perry Como, The Best things in Life are Free: The inkspots (as well as if i didn't care), How much is that doggie in the window: Pattie Page, The Party's Over: Noel Cowardand Bei Mir Bist Du Schon- The Andrews Sisters. The orchestra score,is also avaiable for free from 2k Games. The music in Bioshock, surpasses any game out there in the market, the orchestra and the pop music adds to the game that goes beyond cheesy gaming music and rivals premeire Hollywood Movies.The AI chatter is brilliant when compared to the awfulness of Gears of War (Cole train anyone). With AI chatter ranging from Spanish to French and Russian accents. The voice chatter mechanic adds to story. How? By listening to the diaries from characters of diverse backgrounds, Rapture becomes a character in itself. In Rapture, people were not turned away by the color of their skin or by the language of their native tongue. It is subtle, but minorities are featured Bioshock, which rarely happens for Triple A games. Bioshock uses, the meduim of what games are limited too, to expand its story tenfold with adding smart AI chatter and 50's era music. James DeanThe era of the 50s, sandwiched between World War Two and the Vietnam, is a pot of boiling water waiting to spill over. The 50s, coined the Golden Years, by some the Greatest Generation, know for its bubbly music, stars and starlettes, and the family boom. Bioshock argues, with all of those who believe in the 50's being the greatest years, that there was a underbelly ready to be ripped apart by social, economical, technological and military issues. Socially and economically, there was a big rift brewing between, the church and state, as well as, Socialism and Capitalism. Our Military in the US was ramping up, the Atom Bomb, the arms race, and the space race being pushed by technology and the hawks in DC.

The fall of Rapture begins on January, 1, 1959 where splicers waged an attack at New Year's Party. These stories are told via diaries that are spread around Rapture. The discovery of ADAM, used for genetic modifications, in Rapture causes a power struggle challenging the rule of Andrew Ryan.

EA and Konami Red Carded

EA and Konami match suspension, why do these developers drop the ball and how can they get a 10 on their jerseys.

El Diez

Ever since I first played GOAL!!!!! for the NES and I always imagined ways to improve the game, and have the same immersive feeling as live games. Here are my thoughts and rants on how FIFA and PES can make a comeback.

Since the name Fifa incoporates the word international, why does it seem the only "good" teams, national and club, are the european ones. The African and Latin American teams, who play a tu a tu (man to man), with any team in the world should not be ranked as low. Even the teams ranked by Fifa, For Fifa's Official Rankings Click Here, play musical chairs going up and down in rank. Ghana and Nigeria have been playing really well in the olympic and youth levels, so why the low rankings?

Thirty club leagues is good and all but when the leagues are second/third division teams in europe, and are ranked higher than Latin American and MLS club teams, shows EA's biased towards Europe. When one of the top leagues in South America is omitted (Argentina), then other Latin American clubs team will never make the cut. Including only River Plate and Boca Juniors, who by the way are two of the best club teams in South America, we miss the great teams of Colo Colo, Olimpia, Nacional and Once Caldas. Brazil did make the cut, for EA's Fifa 08, but the Five Time champions are not the only footballing nation in South America. Adding insult to injury, Boca Juniors, Copa Libertadores Campeones, are ranked lower than their UEFA counterparts. Foul play is involved, and should be banned from the game. EA and Konami need to add world futbol fans who do not have a bias towards Europe.

The music may be awesome in the loading screens and all, but what makes football so great is the fan chants. EA should put their attention to fan club sites and incoporate their team chants into the game. Cheering and jeering the home and away teams is good and all, but in the video game world of immersive atmosphere (Bioshock) lets add layers to the beautiful game.

Fifa and PES will never get a ten in my book, it lacks teams, especially from Latin America, authentic chants, and accurate rankings of the national and club teams. Omitting Ghana, who are one higher ranked African teams, missing from the line is a blemish to EA. Fifa and PES are a top sellers in Latin America, why not give them same treatment as Europe gets?

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