Show Me the Money!

I have to admit, I’m a bit surprised by many PS3 game developers’ lack of business acumen.

For instance, I play Resistance 2 co-op.  A lot.  They are making no money on me for monthly fees, but they must be incurring significant server costs to host an ever-expanding (hopefully) player base.  So sure, they are making money off new sales (though not secondary sales), but they could be making more.

So why aren’t they selling the advanced weapons/upgrades in the Playstation Store?  You could still let others earn them through experience, but gamers w/ disposable income and limited time like myself aren’t that impressed with “earning” things.  I’m too old for that shit.  I like to buy things I want and have them now.  That’s why I went to law school

Dead Space took advantage of this by allowing you to purchase, for a nominal fee, some great suits of armor and upgraded weapons.  It was a win-win-win.  1st, purists could choose not to buy this stuff and earn similar weapons/armor through their superior gameplay (and their superiour time-commitment).    2nd, people like me could get their rocks off by paying for it and fast-tracking ourselves through gameplay, thus maximizing our gameplay efficiency while concurrently keeping our wives happy by minimizing playing time (a joyous paradox).

Little Big Planet has made an art form of these minor add-on costs with their ever-growing catalog of outfits.  And you know what?  People buy them.  In droves.

If I were an investor at Insomniac (Resistance 2), I’d actually be pretty pissed.  Why aren’t they offering (and charging for) additional co-op player uniforms/clothing (or allowing you to buy the numerous physical/clothing character upgrades that you can earn through competitive)?

Why aren’t they selling specialized weapons, even if the alteration is merely cosmetic (e.g. a cooler looking Wraith, Marksman)?   These are simple to program and offer.

I’m sure they are busy building new maps that will be for sale (I can’t wait), but still, why aren’t they making even MORE money in the meantime?

There will be a lot of gamers out there who will think I’m an a-hole for suggesting this, but the more these companies make on these games, the more money they have to make more updates/levels for a specific game and more games in general (at least that’s what I’d hope).  Not to mention, it’s just bad business to not be creatively thinking about ways to maximize profits.


Election Day Surprise–Resistance 2 in the Mail!

Sweet.  I’ve been waiting for this game to come out since I finished the amazing Resistance 1.  My bro got this for me for my B-Day and it came today.  Wasn’t expecting it until tomorrow.

One thing that I’m mad about is that you can only carry two guns in R2.  I understand they want you to make strategic decisions and this makes the game more “realistic” as you couldn’t carry four huge guns at once, but I hate this much realism.  I would’ve at least liked the choice of 3 weapons.  I know in R1 I LOVED the sniper rifle, but w/ only two weapon slots, I doubt it makes sense to hang onto that option much if they have it in R2.

I’ll be interested to see what I think about the limited weapon slots….I’m willing to be open to it, but can’t say I’m happy about it now.

I Dare You to Resist This: Resistance: Fall of Man

Rating: Kick Ass!

I generally hate first person shooters. The first (and last) one I played for an extended period of time (and did like) was the original Turok for the N64. That was some time ago. So it took me a long time to pick up Resistance: Fall of Man. I only did so because I’d played through all the other games on PS3 that were in my personal queue.

When I first started the game, I sucked. I couldn’t hit a damned thing. I was getting mowed down by the frightening Predator-like enemies. My own men were getting blasted to shit. I almost put it down forever. I’m glad I stuck with it. Once you understand and master a few simple gameplay mechanics, Resistance is one hell of a tense, action-packed, thrilling festival of massive firepower.

First things first: learn to duck and hide behind things. Learn to use your long-range sights to target enemies from afar. Learn to throw grenades; don’t stockpile them, you’ll get more. Learn to not give a shit about your fellow soldiers; they have only one purpose in this game — to temporarily distract the enemies and serve as cannon fodder while you mow the baddies down. None of them will survive whether you do well or poorly. Welcome to Resistance.

Since everyone and their mother knows what Resistance is about by now, I’ll keep it short. Your enemies, the Chimera, are either a science experiment gone horribly wrong, beings from deep in the earth, or aliens, it’s never explained. However, they are harvesting humans and turning them into hybridized soldiers. Think love children of a Borg/Predator/Alien/Earwigs-from-Wrath-of-Khan orgy.

Their infestation began in Russia in the 1930s. They spread and infected all of Europe, Asia, and Britain. Few humans survived. The US essentially quarantined itself and stayed out of the conflict.

That is, until now. You play as Nathan Hale, a soldier on the frontlines of the US invasion of Britain. You also soon find out you are the only known human who appears to be immune to being infected by one of the little Chimera roaches that crawl down your throat and turn you into a catatonic host.

The Americans have arrived just in time to help the British after millions of them have been killed (not to mention the citizens of Russia, Europe, and elsewhere). Essentially, you arrive when there is precious little to save. Oh well, so much for the old adage that timing is everything.

You are immediately thrown into a grim, apocalyptic Britain that has been devastated by war. Blown out buildings, burning automobile skeletons, ruptured roadways. Your mission: infiltrate various Chimera headquarters, kill them, and blow the crap out of their communications network and infrastructure. It’s harrowing and fun as hell.

The designers nailed the game controls. Even after all these years, I still find the PlayStation controllers a bit daunting at times; especially with games that fully implement all the buttons. Somehow, Resistance did employ the full controls, but made it intuitive and user-friendly. Kudos Insomniac!

Guns? Plenty of them: your trusty machine gun, the Chimera’s trusty machine gun, a rocket launcher (kaboom!), a sniper rifle (head shots have never been more graceful!), an augur (shoots through walls), to name a few. Grenades? Hell yeah! Frag grenades, shrapnel-like grenades (Hedgehogs), and the mother of them all, the air-fuel grenade. Wall of fire, anyone?

Enemies? Yeah, they have all those guns too. And they know how to use them. The AI is pretty intelligent here and that makes the game much more interesting. You’ll not only fight hordes of humanoid enemies, but face off in armored combat against the Chimera’s armored vehicles, including their massive Godzilla-sized “Goliaths.”

Vehicles? Oh yes. Need a tank? You got one airlifted in some places. Joyride in a machine gun-equipped Jeep? Check. Like that Chimera four-legged armored vehicle that looks like an armored AT-AT Scout from Return of the Jedi (you know, the ones the Ewoks destroyed). Take it for a test drive.

Storyline? Pretty compelling. If you save Britain, humankind might just be able to go on the offensive against the Chimera (hence Resistance 2). It’s narrated by a hot-sounding British female soldier who is telling your story, always a plus for me. You never talk, just kill. No complaints.

Resistance has just the right amount of difficulty, it won’t leave you Devil May Crying in difficulty, but it’s no cakewalk either. And it doesn’t ever lose its focus. It’s about advancing through the enemy territory and blowing them to smithereens, up close and personal, or with a bit more long-range strategy (grenades, sniper).

I’m positively giddy about the prospects for Resistance 2. If the first installment took place only in Britain, imagine the possibilities they can create with all of Europe, Eurasia, and Russia for backdrops. Heck, I’d be happy if Resistance 2 only led so far as Western Europe and they had in mind a trilogy, with Resistance 3 having us head into the heart of Russia to finish off the Chimera.

Resistance was the first game that “nailed” the PS3 platform and its capabilities. It’s over a year after its release and some newer games (the lame-ass Haze and Iron Man, for instance, which I demoed) don’t even come close.

I almost never replay games and last night I found myself blasting through two of the missions again. You know what? I totally blew the shit out of those motherfucking Chimerans. Boo Yah!