Archive for Xbox

World of Tanks or Fuck That Matchmaking

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , , on March 4, 2014 by Rabidgames

Remember when Rabidgames wondered about the longevity of World of Tanks? Well, yours truly is close to a tipping point!

Why? Here we go!

1. Incredibly stupid team members. Seriously, even Thief’s dumb AI would be smarter than some numbfucks in World of Tanks! Basically, you know you’ll lose if your own team starts shooting houses or the air after two seconds! Hint: Enemy artillery can see you … More often than not, the first 2 minutes give you a prediction about the outcome of the match.
You might as well drive down a cliff …

2. The wrong map for the wrong tank. Seriously, we can’t we choose any fucking map? It’s 20fucking14!

3. The servers. Yes guys, it is F2P, but disconnections or horrible lags in every third match at times? Come on! And why do us Europeans end up on some NA servers?

4. That fucking matchmaking! So, here we are, Rabidgames with his brand-new level 3 Marder II Tank Destroyer. Let’s roll – but what’s that? Level 5 tanks ALL THE FUCKING TIME? You scratch them, they one-hit kill you. Nice. If everything else on the battlefield hits harder, sees farther and moves faster than you, you might as well put down the controller. Seriously, how fucked can the matchmaking be?

Rabidgames swears: Well, fucking bullshit describes it very well. If the most fun is to be had in level 1 and 2 battles, we have a serious problem on our hands. 80% of the time, you either kill off the opposition quickly or you are killed off quickly. While there is some fun in winning, of course, it has nothing to do with strategy or skill … pure luck of the matchmaking is hardly motivating …

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World of Tanks or Free 2 Play Done Right

Posted in Hands On with tags , , on February 25, 2014 by Rabidgames

What a re the chances a F2P game about tanks tanks? Pardon the pun.

Finally, World of Tanks has arrived on the 360! And finally, there is a F2P game where you don’t HAVE to pay money to win but you can do so if you WANT!

Yes, there are many shortcuts to get awesome tanks quickly, but you still have to earn XP to progress further in World of Tanks, and you cannot simply buy XP (you cannot convert tank XP to general XP though). Yes, there is still some grinding involved but it can actually be fun to earn money on lower levels and XP for your tank. There is also Premium which gives you 50% more XP and money for a set period of time. But in the tank, it’s up to you. If you have no clue what to do, you’re dead within seconds.

World of Tanks can be great fun – if you find a decent team. Problem is, there seem to be many brainless COD or Battlefield players who only mindlessly rush through the field and get killed within seconds. One kill, you’re out. The first time this happens  you think the game is broken but it is actually a good thing: Get killed, start another match, lose start another match, and you’ll still get money from all matches (although you get virtually nothing if you didn’t contribute anything so suicide runs are pointless). But if you happen to find a team that works together, the battles can be amazing. 90% of the time, one team will wipe out the other within mere minutes, but sometimes it boils down to 2:2 or even 1:1 situations. If you survive those, it feels great!

The different classes of World of Tanks are also well done: Light, medium and heavy tanks will do the close quarter battles (and light tanks especially will act as scouts), tank destroyers act as snipers (although they are limited in turret movement), and artillery can shell enemy tanks across huge distances, provided your scouts do a good job. All classes feel balanced and it actually takes some time to get used to playing them.

Of course, there are some problems: The random matchmaking of World of Tanks sucks. You cannot play with more than 2 friends in a platoon, you cannot choose maps or anything else … so if you end up with annoying brats, you know within a minute you’re doomed. Also, the controls are not always perfect and the servers are not always working 100%, but the game has just been released yet so let’s give it some time. Oh, and Rabidgames wants one thing: Being able to level damn houses!

But at the end of the day, the fun in World of Tanks outweighs the annoyances. The F2P aspect also works: You can spend tons of money, you can spend no money at all, or you can follow Rabidgames’ approach: From time to time, it cannot hurt to spend some quid to support the devs a bit, maybe buying 1 day premium, some permanent customisation for the favourite tank or converting tank XP to general XP … If we support F2P, we should make sure to support the games and the people that got it right!

Rabidgames wonders: For now, the game is tons of fun! However, it might be short-term fun … The random matchmaking can put you in a losing streak if you play with rushing COD fan idiots or end up in the wrong kind of map for your tank, and the handful of maps might make it a repetitive experience rather sooner than later. But … maybe this the game to show F2P can be worth it … Time will tell.

The Legacy of This Console Generation

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by Rabidgames

With the launch of the Xbox One and the PS4 dawning, why not take a look back at what this generation of consoles has brought us? Surely there was tons of fun to be had in virtual worlds, but it wasn’t all that great …Let’s start with all the shit that has tried to dampen the fun and to ruin our hobby.

THE BAD

1. Business wankers in suits run the industry

Well, we’re talking about the video game industry, the behemoth of the entertaining sector today. Billions of pounds to be made, shareholders to satisfy, target groups, business plans, blablabla, all this kind of corporate bullshit. And it kills off creativity, innovation and the willingness just to give something a try. Many of the following points are a byproduct of those fucking assholes in suits who now run the big companies – and their prime target is not creating a game with longevity, innovation and fun, it’s just to make shitloads of money with the least effort possible.

2. Shoehorned multiplayer bullshit

Yep, market analysis result no.1: this game needs multiplayer. Clearly, Tomb Raider, Bioshock 2 or Assassin’s Creed need multiplayer – based on the fucked up logic that COD or Battlefield sell well because of their multiplayer … What? That doesn’t make any sense to you? Well, maybe you’re not a wanker in a suit then … This generation, we had to witness time and time again how precious resources were wasted for needless MP crap. Even if the MP turned out to be fine – Mass Effect 3 comes to mind – you can see the shortcomings virtually all the time. Of course, it also works the other way round (Battlefield 4’s abysmal campaign comes to mind) Dear devs, stop believing those shitsticks in suits and abandon ticking all “must sell well recipe” boxes, and listen to what gamers want: Single player only for games like Bioshock, Skyrim, The Last of Us or Tomb Raider, and mutiplayer only for stuff like Battlefield and its buddies.

3. Patching up beta versions

It is a good thing Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have internal QA departments where they test the games before they are given to us, the customers. Reason is, a game should not be a broken mess. This worked most of the time during the console eras of old. But these days, we pay full price for a game and yet, we end up fucking beta testing them! If the 3 manufacturers are not willing to properly test games, or if they’re happy being bribed doesn’t matter: It is a fucking disgrace we end up shelling out cash for a broken mess, or best-case scenario, a game riddled with bugs. Rabidgames asks you: Which was the last game released without many bugs or glitches?

4. The DLC epidemy

DLC is a big issue. A massive cause of annoyances and outrage – and most of the time, absolutely justified. It all started with Oblivion’s much-ridiculed Horse Armour and evolved into massive rip-offs. Sad thing? We are mindless, drooling idiots accepting it (yours truly included), giving the impression being milked is the right thing to do. Well done, us. Here’s a list of the crimes we’re willingly participating in:

  • Ripping content out of the game. Remember the Prothean in Mass Effect 3? Remember the 40 weeks of DLC for Saints Row The Third? Hey, what about the 20 wrestlers in all WWE games? You know, the DLC is alright if it’s done the GTA IV way … hours of new content, released half a year after the release of the game. But it’s wrong if it is announced before release, if we end up paying for costumes and weapons, it is wrong if a game doesn’t cost 60 but 110 pounds after all.
  • Pre-order DLC galore. Yay. A gamers’ dream come true! Who wouldn’t agree that ripping content out of a game and giving portions of it to various retailers is a good idea for everybody? Well, us gamers, of course! We pay full price yet are deliberately cut off from some content unless we buy the same game thrice. But hey, we can opt to buy the stuff later on, for just some extra quid …
  • Disc-Locked-Content. Capcom reinvented DLC: Let’s lock varying amount of stuff already on the disc and make customers pay for a game trillions of times. Hooray.

5. Super uber graphics mimicking good games

Let’s take a look at Crysis 3: Amazing graphics, an awesome world. It just looks awesome! But that’s about it. Or what about GTA IV? Good graphics, a pretty cool physics engine (well, apart from the cargo ship car controls), but the game was devoid of much fun after the initial hype had died down. Final Fantasy XIII, the Uncharted games and Battlefield are just some of the many games where style has killed substance – and if we take a look forwards, Ryse or Killzone look to be more of the same graphics over gameplay stunt …

6. The lies about second hand games – and the always-online scams

Online passes, offline passes, Uplay, DRM … for some unfathomable reason, developers have been fighting second hand game retailers in the last 5 years. Why unfathomable? It’s simple: Gamer X buys game A, completes it and trades it in for game B. Rinse repeat until game D. X bought 4 games because he could trade them in. Without the chance to trade or sell games, X would have bought one game, 2 max. As you see, second hand games mean more game sales. That’s not to say retailers ain’t without flaws (GTA V used 5 pounds more expensive than new next door … really?). Even if we accept the battle, we surely don’t accept it is fought on our backs – online passes force us to type in endless codes. And DRM and always-online are the scourge of gaming – especially since the servers are not working properly as Diablo 3, Sim City and GTA Online evidenced. Why, you wonder … well, to battle piracy (which is pointless that way) and of course, to make sure you have to buy the game new.

7. The impending extinction of physical games

Well, if you’re like Rabidgames, you prefer physical stuff, be it games in boxes, DVDs, CDs or actual books. Digital is fine, yes, but physical is better. Why? It will always belong to you, no matter what. Imagine purchasing PS3 games digitally. What will you do if your PS3 breaks down in 5 years? You might want to buy a new or used PS3 – and then you have to download the games once more – IF they’re still available! And that’s a big IF – just look at EA switching off servers, Too Human now impossible to buy digitally, and who knows how long the 360 and PS3 servers will be online … In contrast, you can still play your Mega Drive and SNES games today. Phyiscal 1, Digital 0.

7. The demise of the JRPG

Let’s face it, JRPGs are basically dead. 5 years ago, there was still hope: Star Ocean, Eternal Sonata and Lost Odyssey were decent games. But then, the flagship Final Fantasy sunk … a 20 hour tutorial, narrow corridors, annoying characters and no innovation whatsoever were the nails to the coffin. Afterwards, there were shimmers of hope; Resonance of Fate was interesting and the Tales series is till around. The weirdest thing was the idiotic wii exclusivity of The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles; promising JRPGs only on a console for casuals. Smart move, guys! The sales were what you would expect: Even the ordinary, nothing special Blue Dragon outsold both games. The JRPG heydays are over, and for fans, the only thing to do is mourn. There’s not much hope left for a next gen resurrection, partly because the likes of Square Enix don’t seem to care anymore (FF XIII-3 looks extremely bland and boring), partly because most companies care even less and have departed to new shores. Well, there are still some JRPGs appearing on the 3DS, but let’s face it, they’re nothing compared to Final Fantasy VII, Suikoden 2, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time or Grandia 2

8. Casualisation

Tutorial, button prompt, tutorial, hey, do not forget to press X to jump, tutorial, phew, lucky you your health recovers automatically, a big fat arrow in your face, tutorial, button prompt … rinse and repeat. These days, the first quarter of a game is usually a tutorial, we get button prompts all the time in case we are forgetful, and of course, let’s not make a game hard … As said before, market analysts know what gamers want, so we get it – it’s just, why are 99% of all games the same now? And why is everything so dumbed down even a 5-year old cannot fail? Yeah, yeah, it’s due to another wanker in a suit …

THE GOOD

1. Diversity

At first glance, there’s just shooters everywhere. Every fucking game is a COD clone, right (and too many of them share the pathetic patriotic America fuck yeah! approach)? Fortunately, that is completely not true and there are many different kinds of games; from easy-going party games for casuals to open world adventures to all kinds of sims (from Forza to Tropico to questionable Trucker Europe Sim ideas …) and brutal games such as Dark Souls. And past AAA, there’s a vibrant indie scene even on consoles, there’s Kickstarter … it’s safe to say we’ve never had more options. It just means we have to look for them.

2. Open world greatness

This generation truly unleashed the power of open world games. From renaissance Florence, fantasy Skyrim to the bustling metropolis in GTA V or Saints Row insanities to the idyllic Just Cause or Far Cry landscapes to the metal fest Brütal Legend or maybe back to school wit Bully … name a scenario, it’s there. Of course, the star still is Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar’s amazing dying Wild West saga, where you could feel the melancholy at the end of an age, the solitude soon to be gone, and the signs of a new era looming … sigh. If you liked open world games, you must have loved this generation!

3. Gaming has come of age

Well, partially. Yes, there is still the immaturity of Lollipop Chainsaw or Bouncing Beach Boobies aka Dead or Alive, the pure violence of , and sadly, the patriotic pathos of Call of Duty, Medal of Honor etc. But there’s also Rockstar filling its games with social commentary dressed as dark satire or even dick jokes, Bioshock dealing with corrupting ideologies and showing us a racist “utopia”, and of course there’s Spec Ops The Line, the first proper anti-war game. It’s still a long way until games are on the same level as books or movies when it comes to story depth, character presentation or drama, but we’re on the right path.

4. We have the power!

First of all: Fuck all this bullshit about “whining entitled gamers”. We have the right to air our opinion (hint: personal abuse is not an opinion), and if Bioware rapes Mass Effect 3 in many ways, hell, even lies to us, why on Tuchanka should we keep quiet? Without the three-coloured shitstorm, we wouldn’t have the extended ending which resolve at least some of the plot holes. Also, remember Diablo 3’s ill-fated always-online and the rip-off auction house? Is it possible it is thanks to the outrage after rotten servers and giving items rarely so we had to buy them in the fucking auction house that the console versions do not need always-online and that the auction house will deservedly die? Who knows. But let’s not forget we can do more than just ciritcise: If we stop buying games like COD or basically anything from EA (when did they release the last good game anyway?) and instead start buying games from developers that listen to us like CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher games, we can make a difference! Let’s start doing it!

Rabidgames’ verdict: Yes, there’s more negative points than positive ones, and it might get worse pretty soon. But still, we’ve had lots of fun this generation as well. Gaming has matured, and while it is sad that the naive charm and the willingness not to give a crap and to just do whatever the dev wants have been lost, and while the age of physical storage mediums seems gone, we still have many games to choose from, for each and every taste.

This generation truly was a schizophrenic one – hate and love, pain and joy, disappointment and happy surprises, it was all there. We have also gone from one core market on 3 platforms to core, casual, inbetween, indie on several platforms (from smartphone and Ouya to high-end PCs). If this whole development is good or bad … time will tell. But whatever happens, we know we can always go back to play these games – maybe we are the last generation to remember how life was before the digital age where you have access to many things, but you end up owning fewer …

Why Microsoft Called It Xbox ONE

Posted in News with tags , , on June 8, 2013 by Rabidgames

So, Microsoft clarified some points with that Xbox One … making it all worse.The highlight certainly is the confirmation that as soon as there are any problems with your internet connections (just like, you know moving and having to wait to be connected again …) and as soon as you are offline for 24 hours, the Xbox One stops being a console and becomes nothing more than an expensive piece of electronic shit, sitting there without any purpose whatsoever. Thank you very much, MS.

But sometimes, one image says more than 1000 words. This one definitely does (even though it uses words):

XboxOne

Rabidgames wonders: Is it time to put our scorn aside? Microsoft is basically not just ruining their reputation, they’re also confirming their state of mental decay and absolute ignorance on a daily basis.

All-in-One? When it comes to bullshit, damn straight!

It might be time for pity soon (or gratefulness; Nintendo must be thrilled the Wii U has been picking up pace from the very moment Microft revealed the Xbox One) … but first, we’d like to watch them fail horribly at the E3!

Xbox One: Will Games Be An Afterthought?

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , on May 21, 2013 by Rabidgames

Well, now that the dust has settled and the hype has died down – very quickly, by the way, what’s there to say about the Xbox One?

Well, if you happen to be a fan of the social media craze or if you like to talk to Kinect (which can now read your emotions better than your wife/husband/parent), you might be happy Microsoft bunny.

If we talk about games, it’s different. Sure, EA is now a big partner, and FIFA’s Ultimate Team (which is not more than yet another microtransaction-fueled rip-off machine) will be an exclusive, there’s going to be new Halos and Forzas (who would have thought?), and oh yes, we got new material of the coming overhyped Call of Duty: Ghosts which might get yet another special deal on the Xbox One. Well, look at that:

This fucking patriotic shit looks like a fucking recruitment ad for some fucking army. It disgusts Rabidgames to no end! Of course, there’s no gameplay material, just shiny pictures glorifying war. Hooray!

Oh, there’s another revolutionary idea! Apparently, we can use our TV to … watch TV! Thanks to the Xbox One. Thank you Microsoft. You’re the best.

There’s some more news trickling in, and all of it is bullshit: No backwards compatibility, and a fee for used games. Seriously, fuck off, you greedy cunts!

Rabidgames is annoyed: Sony 1, Microsoft -1. That’s all.

Always Online: Curse or Blessing?

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , on April 21, 2013 by Rabidgames

The likes of EA, Activision and Microsoft won’t ever tire of telling us that “always online” is the future – and sure, they have a point. But there are undeniable problems when “always online” stops being a choice and we HAVE to be always online!

1. Is it possible? Well, it depends where you live. London, New York, Berlin, Sydney, no problems there. But what about villages in the countryside? There are whole areas with slow connections, for example in Germany, where the fastest available speed is DSL1000. And then, let’s talk about broadband in London. At times, it’s horrible: Slowdowns, it’s broken for days etc. Imagine your router breaks down or some somewhere outside cable melts – that’ll mean you won’t be able to use your console for days. Above all that, look at the publishers’ inability to get their stuff working for launch – how the fuck can you be surprised millions want to play your games when it’s called Diablo or Sim City? That’s plain insane! It seems it is not just our infrastructure, but theirs as well.

2. Is it good for us? No, it’s not. We went from expecting a functional game on day 1 to be glad there’s a day 1 patch to make games playable. Microsoft and Sony don’t give a shit about functionality of games released on their platforms anymore. They should send games back to the publishers and tell them “come back when it’s done”. So, no, patches and updates are no good in 99% of all cases. Plus, let’s not forget we can go online now whenever we want. But the decision should be ours when and if we go online with our consoles.

3. Why do they want it then? Besides patches, always online has many advantages whatsoever, but none of them are in the consumers’ interests – unless you like being spied on, being bombarded with personalised ads all the time, or you’re happy you won’t be allowed to resell turds such as Duke Nukem Forever in the future.

4. Why are gamers stupid? Well, that’s a damn good question. We complain a lot – and then we go out to buy the very games we are complaining about. Well played, us.

Rabidgames hopes: Maybe Microsoft will learn from the backlash and the new Xbox won’t work with always online. Maybe. But there’s also the scenario the next Xbox and the PS4 will have some built-in always online “switch” which will be activated at some point in time … after all, what will we do if have purchased the consoles already?