Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Government Needs Even More Warnings and Fines

The Governator recently signed a bill that requires “violent” video games to carry a special label and makes it illegal to sell them to children under 18. (What about children over 18?) The word violent is open to interpretation… Is Lego Star Wars violent? You can hack off Lego limbs with your Lego Light Saber… I hope we can keep that out of kids’ hands, so they don’t get any ideas and start mutilating their Lego figures.

But really, why should the government stop there? I think when they are judging whether they deem content fits their definition of “violent”, they should also deem whether a game is good or not. The punishment should be the same for selling a bad game as it is for selling a violent game to consumers. I propose that retailers would face the $1000 if they sell a bad game to a consumer. Isn’t that also a horrible infraction that we should be worried about? The government should do us all a favor and keep their idea of a bad game out of our hands as well as keeping their idea of a violent game out of our children’s hands.

Why stop there? Why are video games singled out? Why not do this for music and movies? If a retailer sells a copy of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” that has the hit song “F--k Tha Police” or NOFX’s “So Long and Thanks for all the Shoes” featuring “Murder the Government” to a 10 year old kid, shouldn’t they be fined $1000? I’m betting a ton of retailers have sold copies of “The Matrix” to 14 year olds. In “The Matrix”, the protagonists are terrorists that slaughter a bunch of innocent security guards. No one’s complaining about that! But perhaps more importantly, if a retailer sells copy of “The Sign” by Ace of Base or “From Justin to Kelly” they definitely deserve to be punished!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Game Boy Micro vs. Retieval Mankind’s Batman

Recently, I went on a trip to Taiwan. Always on the look out for new trends in gaming, I discovered the game system that was the latest rage in Taipei. It’s called “Retieval Mankind’s Batman”. Since my Nintendo comparisons are the most popular (judging by the number of people who post comments), The BIG G is undertaking another. The BIG G Presents: Game Boy Micro vs. Retieval Mankind’s Batman (A The BIG G Production)

The Game Boy Micro costs a ridiculous sum of $99.99. Retieval Mankind’s Batman costs an even more ridiculous $199. The only saving grace for Retieval Mankind’s Batman is that those are New Taiwan Dollars, not US Dollars, so that amounts to less than $6 US. Winner: Definitely Retieval Mankind’s Batman.

Game Boy Micro has two face buttons and two annoying to press shoulder buttons. Retieval Mankind’s Batman has four face buttons, which I like a lot better than those stupid shoulders... The thing that really sets Retieval Mankind’s Batman apart is that it comes with two additional controllers that can be used for multiplayer. I’m not entirely sure the controllers actually work, namely because I couldn’t really figure out how to play any of the games, but they look so darn cute!!! Retieval Mankind’s Batman is victorious yet again!

I don’t think Retieval Mankind’s Batman is available in the US, but it’s so good, it’s worth the trip to Taiwan. That being said, Game Boy Micro is a winner here because it saves you the trip.

Game Boy Micro has detachable faceplates. Those are only useful for a cosmetic change. The back lists 3 wild and crazy configurations that you can set Retieval Mankind’s Batman in: 1) Single man and Sample battle with handhold style 2) Single man and Sample battle with table style/Double men and double battles with handhold style 3) Double men and double battles with table style. Retieval Mankind’s Batman is a clear winner here.

Game Boy Micro not only plays all the Game Boy Advance games, but it also plays every other Game Boy game. I’m sure that’s thousands of games. Retieval Mankind’s Batman COMES with an INCLUDED 4 games. Even though on the actual hardware it claims to be the “Batman Trilogy”, it includes 4 games, none of which feature Batman. But, it’s not the quantity of games that matter, it’s quality. Frankly, I don’t think any of the Game Boy’s current offerings can compare to “Hero in the World”, “Strong Whale on the Sea”, “Dragonfly Battle Team” and “Football Ground of Legend”. Those are some great titles for some high quality games. On the back, it lists four other titles. It is unknown to me whether these are the games I was supposed to get with the system, or if these are other must have titles from the vast library of Retieval Mankind’s Batman games. The gems listed on the back are: “Kinght-Erranf Walk” (I’m not sure what a Kinght is or what Erranf means, but the games sounds awesome just the same), “Hero of Ball land”, “Huge Warship Action”, and “King of Air”. Winner: It’s a hard choice, but I need my “Strong Whale on the Sea” fix, and Retieval Mankind’s Batman is the only console that I can turn to for that.

Nintendo has released another loser handheld because Retieval Mankind’s Batman beats it hands down. The only category that it lost to Game Boy is availability, but I’m sure the fine company that brought us the quality Retieval Mankind’s Batman game system will branch out to the US very soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Two 360 choices? That’s one too many!

Many people are complaining that having two Xbox 360 options will confuse “Average Joe Consumer”. Well, let’s just ignore the fact that the $300 Core bundle is silly to purchase because you have to spend $40 for a small memory card if you want to save you games. So, consumers are faced with two choices when purchasing the system! What is the industry coming to? There’s no way the consumers can handle it! They will be so intimidated, they just won’t buy an Xbox 360 at all. I know what you’re thinking: “Woah, The Big G, you’re jumping to conclusions!” No I’m not! Let’s flashback to a simpler time where consumers were less educated: the Genesis era.

Now, I’ll just preface this by saying that the Genesis options aren’t nearly as overwhelming as the whopping TWO choices for Xbox 360, but consumers understood less back then. The RAM Expansion for Saturn/N64 helped open their eyes to the idea of scalable home consoles. Anyway, Sega Genesis managed to overcome these small confusions to be neck and neck with SNES in the 16 bit era. Microsoft’s choice is so much more confusing though, so it’s hard to say if like Sega they can overcome their severe consumer confusion. Anyway, here’s the brief overview of Sega’s Genesis offerings:

Sega Genesis 1
This was the original. It had a headphone jack, and was large and rectangular. The headphone jack may not seem important, but if you want to get stereo sound with your 32X composite video, and you are using the supplied 32X AV cable, you need it. The 32X came with a crappy mono stereo cable, and apparently, you could call up customer service and order a stereo one, but somehow I think they won’t still provide them. It was compatible with both Sega CDs, but really only works well with the Sega CD 1 and not the Sega CD 2. You need to add an extender on the Sega CD 2’s platform in order to accommodate the larger body, so it’ll look ridiculous and take up a ton of space.

Sega Genesis 2
This did not have the headphone jack. It was smaller. The Sega CD 2 was designed to fit with this model. If you had the Sega CD 1, it’d look stupid because the Sega CD 1 is too big for the smaller Genesis 2. If you want to use it with 32X, you most likely won’t be able to get stereo sound unless you are playing Sega CD 32X because the Sega CD has stereo audio out in the back, but they ports don’t work when you are playing Genesis or 32X games since they use the audio hardware on the Genesis main system.

Sega Genesis 3
This was even smaller still and was a budget version of the Genesis long after its popularity waned (1998). It won’t work with any Sega CD’s because it doesn’t have an expansion port. I doubt it'll work with the 32X either since that requires a different port that was probably removed also.

This was a portable version of the Genesis. It won’t work with Sega CD or 32X.

Sega CD 1
This works with the Genesis 1 and 2 only, but really only looks good when combined with the Genesis 1.

Sega CD 2
This works with the Genesis 1 and 2 only, but really only looks good when combined with the Genesis 2.

Sega 32X
This is the only way to play 32X or 32X CD games.

This is a pseudo-portable combined Sega Genesis and Sega CD that doubled as a portable CD player. If you want 32X, you need a special adaptor to make it fit. The BIG G thinks you’ll be hard pressed to find one of those now.

This is a combined Genesis and Sega CD made by JVC with all sorts of crazy features such as two microphone inputs, MIDI port and S-video out. None are particularly useful. I have no idea about its compatibility.

The Power Base Converter
If you’re interested in playing Sega Master System games, plop this on the top of your Genesis, and you can play them. It’ll only work with the Genesis 1. They made one that would work with Genesis 2, but it didn’t have the card slot and was only released in Europe. Unfortunately, you can’t use this and the 32X at the same time.

The BIG G, I’m confused. Which one should I get?
Well, here’s the beast that I have:

It features the Sega Genesis 1 for the headphone jack, the Sega CD 1 because it matches the Genesis 1 better (and CD trays are cool), and the 32X which has composite video out (the composite video out even works for regular Genesis games!). I can play Sega CD 32X games with the greatest of ease! Plus, if I decide to get “The Power Base Converter”, I can use it with the Genesis 1, but I’ll have to remove my 32X. That is what the BIG G would recommend for you. I also have a Nomad to game on the go, but I only have 7 Genesis games whereas I have 15 Sega 32X games, 16 Sega CD games and 4 Sega CD 32X games, so I can’t have too much fun on the go.

But I mean, in all honesty, that’s not nearly as confusing as the two models that Microsoft offers for the Xbox 360! With hard disk and without? Man, I still can’t wrap my mind around that. Oh, how I dream of the days when it was simpler!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The DS is Not Innovative

Nintendo always claims they are innovative just like Apple claims it didn’t rip off the GUI from Xerox. Well, the DS is just a rip off of an old Sega product called the Pico. Maybe you don’t remember the Pico. Well, I do. Vaguely... Very vaguely. It was a console for very young children (I believe all the games were rated EC for “Early Childhood”) that featured edutainment games. It hooked up to your TV and had a story book component too. It pioneered the use of a touchpad for gaming and was the source inspiration for the Nintendo DS. Consider this: Nintendo DS’s top selling game in Japan is “Brain Training for Adults”. Pico featured brain training games for kids! Sounds like a rip off to me! Also, the Pico has one main advantage on the DS. The DS just has a stylus. The Pico features a “magic pen”!!! A MAGIC PEN!! That’s way cooler than the stylus that Nintendo offers. Plus, it has MAGICAL POWERS! Nintendo, why won’t you start innovating on your own? And why don't you create your consoles with magical powers?!?!?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Best of The BIG G

If video game companies can make a "best of" collection and sell you the games you already have for extra money, then I can make a "best of" list of my blog posts! So, rather than giving you new bloggy goodness today, here’s a repackaged “best of” collection, as chosen by me:

5. The next XXXX vs. XXXX game
1 on 1 fighting games rule. I propose the best idea ever for a blah vs. blah fighting game.

4. Revolution vs. Evolution
This is the controversial Revolution commentary that started my other controversial Revolution commentaries.

3. People Just Don’t Understand Target Videos!
There’s been a lot of talk of target videos with the upcoming next gen systems coming out soon, and they require some explanation, so people don’t get the wrong ideas.

2. Forget globalize! Solarize!
Outsourcing is the big talk in the game industry. When outsourcing fails to India and China, there are plenty of other locations to explore. Like the sun... oooorrrr...

1. Outsource to the Moon
The moon! Read this one first! It’s the best, and the solarize article is supposed to come after it...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the Streets, YO!

Let’s face it - the best art, regardless of its medium, is from the heart. In other words, the things that people know best are what they can best translate into their art. “Grand Theft Auto” is so “good” because gritty violent crime is the lifestyle that most game developers understand the best. It’s been hard life for us game developers. We grew up on the wrong side of the PCI bus. It was kill or be killed. Back in my hood, we used to knife the kids that were programming in BASIC on their Apple ][’s instead of assembly. We used to computer jack at gunpoint all the good stuff from the people who work at Fry’s. I was shot a guy in the face just to get a 3 1/4” floppy drive. I still have to wear a bulletproof vest because I defected from the Apple gang to Microsoft back in 98, and the Apples have craved my blood ever since.

“Grand Theft Auto” is the groundbreaking game that made game developers realize that it was okay for them to expose the gritty life that we developers live to popular culture. It is invigorating to realize that people want to hear the story of your average game developer. The “Grand Theft Auto” series has sold like a bajillion games. There are plenty of more violent urban games coming: “Godfather”, “Scarface”, “50 Cent Bulletproof”, “True Crime”, “Saint’s Row”, “APB”, and “Crackdown”. These other developers aren’t just jumping on the GTA bandwagon because GTA was such a smash hit - it’s because they finally feel it’s okay to tell OUR story - life in the ghetto of the internet.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Best In-Game Scripting Language: PERL

Everyone uses Python, Ruby or something based on C++ for in game scripting. I think these are all the wrong choices. These are structured, understandable languages. This is completely undesirable! The real correct choice is PERL. Think about it. You can write gameplay code that looks like dolphins, compress everything in as little space as possible, and make your code completely unmaintainable. You can obfuscate it by using implicit variables, confusing regular expressions, and inconsistent syntax! All of these are desirable features in a scripting language, but the real reason for using PERL for a game scripting language is because it guarantees job security because no one will be able to understand your code!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Super Scope 6 Revolutions

In doing more research from the various news sites ( has the best write up), it’s become clear to me that some of my initial assessments were wrong. It’s not like a 3d mouse in its obtainment of positional and orientational information. From “Two small sensors placed near the TV and a chip inside the controller track its position and orientation, allowing the player to manipulate the action on screen by physically moving the controller itself.” Judging from this quote, I’m speculating that the gyroscopic aspects for it are for sensing motion (like the Evolution) and the positional and orientational information is from the sensors on the TV like the..... SUPER SCOPE 6. A lot of the other write up info agrees with this, since a lot of its uses are basic light gun functionality (some of the demos were like that: block buster, irritating sticks, and maybe others). So, my next in depth Revolution preview will compare it to the Super Scope 6.


Revolution: A glorified TV remote
Super Scope 6: A super awesome bazooka cannon
Winner: I’m going to go with the super awesome bazooka cannon aka Super Scope 6. It looks pretty darn cool. I remember they had an ad back when it was new where people would march around like soldiers carrying them. To this day, I’ve wanted to go to combat carrying my Super Scope 6.

Revolution: two
Super Scope 6: one
Winner: Super Scope 6! It can get the job done with half the pesky sensing equipment! It must be superior technology! I think the real question is, do you have to calibrate the Revolution controller like you did the Super Scope 6? Only time will tell....

Game Support
Unknown. Probably not many games if they release a standard controller add on for the Revolution like they announced.
Super Scope 6: Not many.
Winner: I’m going to have to go with the Super Scope 6 here because it already has a ton of classic games released for it.

Revolution: Hand controlled, no sight
Super Scope 6: It’s called the Super Scope 6 for a reason!!!
Winner: Super Scope 6. It had that Super Scope, and that scope was very super! It was deadly accurate, and Nintendo had the foresight to allow the scope to be configured for both lefties and righties! The Revolution controller’s designer clearly had in mind the oppressive right handed conspiracy to keep us lefties down! Have you ever written in a notebook with your left hand? The rings are on the wrong side! Have you used a pen with your left hand? Your hand smears across the stuff you just wrote! Have you ever used a left handed scissors? THEY NEVER WORK! You’d think it’d be easy to design a scissors that would be operable with the left hand, and it is - it’s just the conspiracy will only allow crappy left handed scissors to be released. But I digress.

Super Scope 6 wins! Although it’s clearly better than the Revolution controller, hopefully the Revolution will address its fatal design flaws - namely it took a whopping 6 AA batteries and if you left it on by accident (which I did without fail), it would drain the batteries even when it wasn’t being operated. But hopefully, Nintendo will port all the classic Super Scope 6 games to Revolution, so I can play them because I have two Super Scope 6's and neither of them work... I should have made that a category, oh well. Too late! Super Scope 6 has already won!