The guitar Harmonix chose for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II is not exactly my favorite guitar. The Gibson X-plorer just reminds me too much of german hard-rockers from the eighties... and mullets. Harmonix' plastic rendition of the guitar doesn't look any better than the original of course, and white doesn't help. I've seen things at Toys'R'Us that look less toy-like. I can't do much about the shape but seeing that I had already done a red paint job on my faceplate a while ago, I thought that at least the color had to change.
There are a few very obvious game design flaws that for some reason still commonly get perpetuated today. They're especially infuriating when found in otherwise good games. The only explanation I could find was artificial lifetime enhancement, which is a bad idea because it can in reality dramatically shorten the lifetime of the game since many gamers just won't want to finish it. Which also means that they won't buy the sequel either.
... for anything else than aiming and frantically moving up and down. In other words, slow movements aimed at the screen work well, as do fast, imprecise movements, but anything else is impractical.
I've finally been able to play the Nintendo Wii, and sure, I want one. I had decided not to buy yet another version of Mario Kart and that the new controller would not yield itself to most games, that it would only work for some very specific ones. After I've tried it, I still think that couldn't be my main gaming machine, but I want one anyway.
Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft and have to admit I'm a big Xbox 360 fanboy so I will not be fully objective on this topic.
Ever since Nintendo has annouced their new controller, I've had very big doubts about betting the console on such a concept. The controller in itself seems to be beautifully executed and more precise than any other previous attempt at a motion-sensing controller, but I fully agree with Peter Molyneux that for most players, the most confortable position to play is lying on the couch with the controller resting on the beer belly. Only the thumbs move, and they do so very little, which enables us to play for extended periods of time (not that we *should* play that long, but we do, and that eventually makes us buy more games). And I call that motion sensing too: the pad is very efficiently detecting very small movements of my thumbs...
Think what you want about Web 2.0, it is an unescapable change in the way the web will grow in the future. It is the convergence of several emerging ideas and technologies that individually wouldn't mean as much but that taken together make a real difference. These ideas are (paraphrasing Wikipedia and isolating the technical points from the business ones):
- "The transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality". This is the "programmable web", which enables a real web or network of applications to share information. It implies the use of open standards such as RSS and XHTML which make the blogosphere bigger than the sum of the blogs.
- "Open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use". This is the community aspect. It consists mainly of user-provided contents (that can range from user comments to fully user-created sites such as Flickr, Myspace or Wikipedia) that the users own.
- "A more organized and categorized content"
- "The resurgence of excitement around the possibilities of innovative web applications"
Wow, what a great game! I just finished Jade Empire in "evil mode". I'm very likely to do it again in "boy scout" mode. The immersion and richness of the universe are just amazing. The only thing I disliked is the tendancy Bioware has to explain to us that the evil path is somewhat as honorable as the virtuous one. I enjoy playing an evil character (I know the subtle difference between game and reality as almost every other gamer on the planet), but don't try to tell me that he's not evil. Some of the things they make you do in this mode are actually quite disturbing. I'm still waiting for the (good) game that will let you play a Dr. Evil-like character: evil, but in a funny way. Yes, Dungeon Keeper did that in a way, but that was a long time ago.