Saturday, October 02, 2004

Random thoughts

To begin my Friday, I had a lab project to do with a group and I showed up at WITC at 12:30 like I was supposed too, but I drove in a frickin rain storm which probably has everything to do with why no one showed up to complete the lab project due Tuesday. So the night before I did my own project, it wasn’t very difficult. Like most storms, the wind shield fogs up and I need to put on some heat to prevent this. I was going to go to the Gamestore at around 4PM, but I wanted to be sure what I was going to spend my money on. Later today, I might invest money into a Genesis version 3. I don’t know but I might get Shinobi II Revenge of Shinobi. Genesis is 40 bucks anyways. I already have copies of that popular hedgehog trilogy for Gamecube. Sonic on Nintendo – this isn’t right – did Sega finally sell out? Ya, it may have been a bit of a culture shock when he first appeared on Gamecube though. At least I know I had to stare at the box for 10 minutes first time I saw it. I guess I could also buy Contra Hard Corps or Alien Soldier at Toyriffic. Still have to decide whether or not I want to support a 12th platform or not. I was thinking of owning that “other” 16-bit platform even before I bought SNES earlier this year – but because I favored Mario over Sonic, it sorta reversed my final decision. Why do I pick Genesis after all these years you ask? Different games and Sega published games for that matter. I could just as easily spend money on the other 11 platforms I have. In fact, I doubt I’ll go forth with owning a 12th platform this month.

I thought this would be a great topic for today. The topic is can anyone imagine a videogame console without Japanese animation? Even Xbox has it. Today, I had a discussion with my cousin via MSN Messenger. He normally doesn’t like to run the discussion so I have too or there would be no discussion. David is in the Navy and he’s in Japan (14 hours ahead of me) I asked him “Why does Japanese imports always have anime or hendai” in them?” He wouldn’t ask that. I say anime look bad. Okay? Metal Gear Solid is based on Solid Snake, a commando anime character with attitude. So the plot is why are these Japanese culture-related “R” films or “M” games have animation that look similar to Pokemon or Sailor Moon? I do understand that it all started with Astro Boy in the 1960s until the mid-80s when it exploded. In Game Informer Magazine, half the page contents are focused on anime or hendai themed games of some sort. America should be against this. To most people it’s just another form of animation. To me it’s the Japanese imposters trying to over-throw the American game industry and who knows what else. They are – seriously! They want all of the game industry to belong to them! We must boycott Japanese imports. It’s bad enough we have G4-TECHTV showing their Anime Unleashed block 4 hours every day (I was a fan of TechTV, not G4-TechTV), but then why is Metal Gear Solid 2 so popular then? I don’t completely know why computer geeks like anime? MGS2’s game play is better than 95% of games out there on PS2, and it’s voice acting is unmatched from what I read off IGN. Solid Snake sounds very professional. It does sound like a Hollywood film. I can say this because I own the game too. My cousin got me because I told him to download Cowboy Bebop episodes off Kazaa. The truth is I haven’t seen that on Cartoon Network for months and forgot all about it. Really - I did! I know many of you could care less about which I should do, but I either support Japanese animation or am I totally against the whole thing? I want to say I’m against it, but I would loose all my RPGs that I play off and on. I’m an anime hater RPG fan that plays Japanese imports anyway. See, I’m not afraid to admit it. For some strange reason I like Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball. In this case “graphics” has double meaning. The game is technically advance over 90% of console games out there, and there are virtual babes on the scene, but nothing to wet my pants over. I would only wet my pants when Half-life 2 comes out – oh yeah - I almost did when I first ran Doom 3 on my home PC. Agree with the extreme polygon ratios – damn, it’s like 300% that of any PS2 game. Yes, it’s true if I set it too near MAX everything. But still though – no one can deny Doom 3 is currently state-of-the-art in graphics and a step ahead of 9 out of 10 games out for PC today.

I’m trying to imagine PS2 without anime or hendai would be like:

Erasing all RPGS off the system including Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Grandia, Nippin Inchi titles, Suideoken games, Kingdom Hearts, Dark Cloud, Tales of Destiny, .Hack, Xenosaga, Shin Megami Tensei games, Shadow Hearts
No Devil May Cry
No Castlevania
No Dead or Alive 2
No Soul Caliber 2
No Resident Evil games
No Zone of the Enders
No Front Mission
No Fatal Frame franchise
No Virtua Fighter
No Shinobi
No Nightshade
No ridge racer
No Tekken

And then trying to imagine Xbox without anime or hendai would be like:

Erasing all the 3D fighting games
No Panzer Dragoon games
No beach volleyball games from Tecmo
No Japanese games whatsoever and there aren’t that many to begin with

My second discussion about this was when David and I use to play Sonic 2 and Jungle Strike on Sega Genesis. I bought him Sonic 3D Blast for his birthday which means we played within a year of the next generation consoles’ debut. I know now that Sonic 3D Blast was the worst Sonic game ever name. Oops. I was a little confused because I saw Genesis version 3 on the shelf so as a kid I didn’t realize that Saturn, N64, or Playstation were out. I know Genesis has been died for 8 years – some say 10 years ever since Sega brought Saturn to stores. This was before I owned any electronic game console of my own. This is SEGA though. I told him that if SEGA made a Dreamcast 2, I would buy it. That’s the climax. Now SEGA games are scattered across 5 platforms (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, Gameboy Advance, Nokia Ngage) In 1999 and 2000, he and I played Dreamcast like most would normally play Playstation 2. I was shocked that Dreamcast would be short lived. In fact, I was going to buy the successor to Dreamcast if there ever was one.

I found out some interesting polls on which console is better:

PC Engine place 1st
Xbox place 2nd
PS2 place 3rd
Gamecube place 4th

For Xbox, the best thing that it has a hard drive to store game saves and the worst is the bulky controller. 75% of the poll suggests that the Xbox controller is too big to play on and the Gamecube controller is very oddly configured. The real answer here is how to make a controller as close as the PS2 controller (Dual Shock 2) without getting into a law suit with Sony. The biggest disadvantage of PS2 is that it’s graphical GIGA-FLOP power, but the best advantage is the variety of good games out for it. To give you an idea of how much 1 gigaflop is – the Dreamcast could do a maximum of 1.2 Gigaflops like in games Quake III Arena, Sonic Adventure 2, Grandia 2 or Skies of Arcadia that really show the consoles abilities. The PS2 can do about 6 gigaflops. Gamecube’s advantage is often seen that it comes out with the best 1st party titles of the 3 competitors. The worst part is that it can not play movies which are totally out of whack since the Panasonic Q DOES exist, and this wouldn’t be the case if the most wasn’t referring to the norm. PC Engine is preferred to the best because it has the most games (which is kind of unfair in this sense) I would think that this answer is illegal although it is true according to a few polls on the net.

The way I see it is I’m never buying new again. Used Xboxes are not only less expensive, they come with the previous user’s game saves most of the time. The only time I should buy new is if I collect them and want an unopened Xbox to show off when it is antique. I buy to play it – not for showcase. Therefore, buying used doesn’t bother me.

This is Ian signing off.