FredFredrickson

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Joined May 18, 2006
Games (5)

Hover Tank 3D
May 18, 2006
Evolites
June 29, 2006
Linked
July 11, 2006
Aster Blaster HS
July 16, 2006
Aces High Over Verlor Island
March 22, 2007
Examples (10)
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Dev - Sort these by name
Favorite Games


Falling back into work mode
Posted on January 16, 2007 at 01:13

After the blur of the holidays, I’m left with a pile of video games to play, and a pile of work that I really want to get done… And oh, how the two conflict with each other! I’ve still got paintings to paint, games to make, and a bunch of other things that I need to do, but Sam Fisher, Marcus Fenix, Frank West, and a slew of other digital heroes have been constantly nagging t me to spend more time with them. Yeah, it’s bad.

Despite all this, I am very happy to report that things are getting done. This weekend, I’ll be continuing my painting project, and possibly finishing it (if I’m motivated enough). When I’m done with it, I’ll post some pictures… I really like how the first piece came out, and if the other two look as good, I think it’ll be a great piece of work to showcase.

I’ve also been getting some work done with Aces High Over Verlor Island. The single player menu is about 90% finished, and will include a few different solo modes that will each have their own online high score table. I’m probably also going to throw some sort of functionality into the game for a new-ish addition to the Reflect System, credits.

If you’ve not seen that already, I invite you to check it out. I’ve begun work on a series of upgrades to the Reflect Games website that not only allow users to have their own “gamer cards,” but also to keep better track of what they are playing, and what they have achieved. The addition of credits will simultaneously be a method for tracking how much you’ve played, as well as a system that will later be used as currency both in games and on the website. User profiles have been given a major overhaul, and will later be able to be customized even more with items bought from a “credits store.” I’m looking forward to adding all of this into the site (as well as some other things, like actual per-game achievements, linking Reflect Accounts to the forum, etc), and I hope you guys check it out.

Finally, I am excited to announce that the next game in the Wanderlust series, Wanderlust: Rebirth, will be using Reflect for it’s match-making, and other functions! I’ve actually gotten to play a few of the test builds that Lethalanvas has been working on, and I truly think the team has outdone themselves this time. The game looks like a work of art, and plays great… it’s going to be a real treat to play with everyone from the Reflect community.

Anyway, I’d better get back to work. With any luck I’ll have at least one of the single player modes for AHOVI started tonight, and hopefully will have the final version done before you know it. That is, unless I have another urge to grab hold of my DS or my 360 controller and play just… one… more… game… Agh, gotta resist! Thanks for reading!




Reflecting on 2006
Posted on December 31, 2006 at 22:08

With 2006 only a few hours away from being complete history, I look back on what was truly a remarkable year. Games, websites, work, and horrible puns (see the title?). Sure, there are a few events of 2006 that I do not look back fondly upon (personal stuff), but I am proud of the work that I completed, and for what is in store for 2007. First though, I’d like to take a look back at all the game-related things that I’ve done this year…

· Hover Tank 3D Completed – I don’t even really think I need to say much about this one. In the first month of 2006 HT3D was completed, and has since clocked over 1,000 downloads every month.

· Evolites Completed – This much liked / sometimes hated game kicked off in the middle of the year. It was a life simulation that I’d wanted to put together for some months, and kicking it off with the launch of a new website only made the deal more sweet.

· Linked Completed – My third game for the year, Linked showcased some great UI elements, and introduced me to both advanced surface technique, as well as advanced online programming, two things that I have been honing before, and since.

· Reflect Games Created – Only half a year since it’s inception, and already Reflect Games draws nearer and nearer it’s 1,000th user registered. The network includes the site, it’s games, and the account system, all of which work perfectly with one another. I would have been proud of this accomplishment by itself!

· Aces High Over Verlor Island Nearing Completion – Although I’d wanted to get this game done before the end of the year, I can’t complain about the progress that has been made on it. I’m looking forward to finishing this game, and adding to the growing number of Reflect-enabled titles.

· Hover Tank 3D 2 Started – I’m not going to work much more on this on until I’ve gotten Aces out the door, but it’s exciting to have another game from the Hover Tank world in the works!

· Various Examples Created – I’ve made 8 high quality examples for the Game Maker this year, and I can only hope that I’ll have time for more in ’07. It’s great to be helping people, and sharing my techniques!

· Joined 64 Digits, EO, and GGE – I am happy to be a part of 64Digits, the EO Game Development Community, and just recently the Great Games Experiment. I look forward to releasing more work on all of these venues, and I hope to see some of you around!

As for 2007, we’re already planning some great things for Reflect Games, including some big titles, a few giveaways, and improved functionality. Of course, I’ll also be continuing work on my games, and helping to make each community that I visit a better place. Stick around for 2007, it’s gonna be a busy, but fun time!

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you all have a great new year!




Kudos to Apple
Posted on December 17, 2006 at 17:12

Let me get this out right from the start – I don’t really care for Apple Computer Company. I don’t like their marketing campaigns, I think their computers are gimmicky, and their form-over-function design principle is terrible. Yes, I have an iPod, but were it not the best deal out there for size vs. cost, I would have rather settled on anything made by Creative or Microsoft (the Zune looks awesome, by the way).

That said, I have to give Apple some credit; let me explain why. Being the poor graphic designer that I am, and the designer who spends more of his free time playing games rather than watching TV, I only have the most basic cable option Comcast can provide. Clocking in at a whopping $12 a month, I get about an equal number of stations to watch, which includes the local network stations, PBS, the TV guide channel (they try to entice me to upgrade with this) a handful of non-English stations. I get by watching these stations, and as I just discovered, the few that I can watch through the scrambling static, like History Channel, Food Network, etc. Sometimes though, after hearing my coworkers talking about things on the other stations, I want to watch shows like South Park. Unfortunately for me, Comedy Central isn’t one of the stations I can pick up through the void of static in between stations 20 and 60… so what can a guy do?

Enter my video iPod. iTunes offers up a lot of the shows I’d like to see now and then, and I can hook it straight up to my TV courtesy of my video recorder cable, so it’s just like watching TV, minus the commercials. So some months ago, after missing two or three episodes of South Park that sounded absolutely hilarious, I went ahead and bought season 10. Or so I thought. About halfway through the season, I stopped receiving episodes. Logging into the iTunes store, I found that, after I purchased said season, Apple decided to split up the season into two parts, and they decided that I had in fact retroactively purchased only one half.

Needless to say, I was not too pleased with this, but aside from writing a very nasty review for South Park Season 10A, there wasn’t much to do about it, other than to never order anything from iTunes store again. Looking through the store’s comments however, I found that countless numbers of people had already posted terrible feedback, warnings, profanity, and all other sorts of protest against this. I was content in seeing that Apple had not censored this info from the store, but still felt cheated.

Cut ahead to the present. I checked my email last night, and after sorting through the usual pile of junk mail, I happened upon a mysterious email from the iTunes store, which looked to be a message confirming a purchase. I hadn’t made any purchases on the store recently, so I opened the email with some caution, expecting to have to spend an hour or so sorting through some sort of credit card hijack attempt. Instead, and completely unexpectedly, Christmas has come early, thanks to Apple.

Apparently, in an effort to smooth over the mess that was created by splitting South Park season 10 into two parts, Apple has decided to give away season 10B to everyone who purchased A, and refund them for any episodes from season 10B they had already purchased. Of course, the total amount of money one would have spent on all episodes from season 10B comes to less than $20, but still – I can’t help but be impressed. Bucking the trend of the large corporation indifferent to customer concerns, Apple took the diplomatic route of giving people what they wanted. Initially I wanted to call this move generous as well, but since they are merely giving me what I thought I was ordering from the start, I can’t really say that… but I am still impressed.

Here’s the text of the email, in case you’re interested in seeing exactly what they had to say:

Quote

Dear Martin,

Thank you for purchasing the South Park Season 10A Season Pass from the iTunes Store. We know that the decision to split this season into two parts created some confusion for our customers.

We strive to create a perfect experience and we're very sorry for any confusion this may have caused. It looks like you already purchased 2 episodes of South Park Season 10B. The remaining 5 South Park Season 10B episodes are now available for you to download, compliments of the iTunes Store team. To download your free episodes, open iTunes and select Check for Purchases from the Store menu. Or, just click this link.

Because you previously purchased 2 10B episodes, we are also giving you a code good for 2 $1.99 music videos or TV shows of your choice. Redeem the code below by clicking on the following link.

You can also redeem your code by following the instructions outlined in this article.

We sincerely thank you for being an iTunes customer and we value your continued business.

Sincerely,

Kate Wormington
Sr. Manager, Customer Experience
iTunes Store


Of course, I’m not going to go out and buy a Mac anytime soon, or ever, most likely. But I think other companies who have trouble managing their public image should take note of this. I, and many others, have been surprised and delighted by this decision. It’s the kind of thing that people remember when they think about buying episodes of a show or digital music again, and it shows that Apple hasn’t lost touch with it’s customers yet. So kudos to Apple – you’ve done well.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 9 new episodes of South Park to watch. Thanks for reading, and hope everyone is having a happy holiday season.




Why I don't like fan-created mods
Posted on December 12, 2006 at 13:10

This morning I just didn't feel like turning on the TV to watch the usual droll of morning news people acting bright and cheery, so instead, I pulled up an old copy of PC Gamer to read while I munched on my Capn'n Crunch. After flipping through the rag a bit, I settled on an article written by Desslock about the pros and cons of user-created mods for games. He hit on some really good points, and it inspired me to write a little on my own opinions of user-created content for games.

I inherently like the idea of user-created content, because it promises the world to you. If you don't like the game as it is, you are free to fix it as you want. Once you've spent your time playing through the main game, you are free to try out additions to the game that others have made, sometimes including whole new levels / areas to play, new characters, new items, and more. These mods might also make your game more realistic or difficult, for people who desire an extra challenge that the core game did not offer.

When it comes to what you actually get from the game community however, the story is quite different. Many mod-makers take it upon themselves to bend the rules of the game, to give themselves breaks and advantages in many areas of games that wouldn't normally afford you any. And while these changes are not always made with the intent of breaking the game, they almost inevitably do, because they introduce circumstances into the game that the original designers has not intended, and did not create the game around.

Another thing that I love to hate about user-created mods is the inconsistencies in quality and in scope. Sure, it's fun to go back into some of the older games you own and find patches to upgrade the appearances of the characters within the game to take advantage of the power your computer has gained since the game's original release... but the whole illusion of a consistent, cohesive world is lost when you are running around your newly enhanced world and suddenly find the one character that the modder just happened to miss, either by pure ignorance, or by lack of interest.

This kind of stuff ruins the world of fan-created content for me. Like Desslock wrote in his PCG article, I would rather play through the game as the original designers intended, for the balance in aesthetics and gameplay... the tweaking will come after I've played through the game in it's entirety.

It does depends on the type of game though - a mod for Oblivion could change the entire game, while a mod for Half-Life 2 would just mean a different type of game to try out, that doesn't have any effect on the main game. And I will say - I enjoy working on mods sometimes, even if they only consist of one custom-made level, or something similarly small in scope.

The fact is that for me, fan-made, entire-game-altering mods are a commodity that remains as something I can do without until I have exhausted the fun of the original game.

Don't take this the wrong way though - don't stop making mods! I think I'll always hold a special place in my gaming heart for a Doom 3 shotgun with a flashlight duct-taped onto the end, or some decidedly clearer water in Oblivion.




HT3D2? Shopping? Egads!
Posted on December 11, 2006 at 17:45

Well, I am happy to report that I am done with my Christmas shopping. Well, almost done, anyway. I've still got one last thing to get for my girlfriend before I am finished... and possibly a gift for her family... but other than that, I am done, and it feels good. I always find myself dreading the holidays simply because I have such a hard time finding the right gift for people.

I can't say that I am very helpful to others in that respect either though. Questions about what I want for Christmas are usually met with a very dubious "I don't know." It's usually true though, as I am not one to sit around and think about things that I would really like to have. If it's something that I want, and it's within my budget, I usually just get it for myself. If it's something that I wouldn't consider because it's unfordable or a waste of money, I can never convince myself to splurge and get it, so I just put that stuff out of my mind. I guess I'm just kind of frugal like that!

Needless to say though, once the whole gift-buying part is over, it's all food, fun, and games for everyone involved.

In more GM related news, I recently began playing around with some models in my spare time... what models are these, you may ask? None other than Hover Tank 3D models! I don't have much that I want to show off yet, but I do have a couple images for you. Check 'em out, in their small, nondescript, 400x300 glory.

<img src="http://www.martincrownover.com/files/tank.jpg">;

<img src="http://www.martincrownover.com/files/pillar.jpg">;

HT3D2 will be completely redesigned from the demo that many of you played some months ago... and will be taking on a more realistic look. I plan on having the game contain much more elaborate locales than last time, including a remade Polychron, a lost civilization-ish area, and some others. I'll update everything with more info as I decide though. If you'd like to check out the forum topic at the MCG / Reflect forums, visit it <a href="http://games.martincrownover.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=477">here</a>;.

In the meantime though, Aces High needs finishing, so don't expect too much more about this in the near future. Anyway, enjoy the small glimpse of what's to come, and I hope everyone gets done with their Christmas shopping soon and safely! Thanks for reading!




Aces High OVI Updated!
Posted on December 02, 2006 at 22:54

Hey everyone, as I mentioned a few days ago, I have updated Aces High Over Verlor Island. Check out the GMC topic <a href="http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?act=ST&f=11&t=242490&st=0">here</a>;, or read on for the change list to the update.

<b>New as of Dec 2, 2006</b>
· Menu system and options menu added
· Reflect functionality added
· Master server list added
· Host commands added
· Power-ups added
· New special move (slow down) added, special move controls changed slightly
· Terrain tiles added and terrain updated
· Added ability to turn on a simple frameskip function
· Reflect logo added to startup
· 39ster / 39DLL logo added to options menu
· Various graphical tweaks and bug fixes

Click to download (2.91 Mb): <a href="http://www.martincrownover.com/files/ahovi_30.zip">Click here</a>

More information is posted at the GMC link above, including controls, and an explanation of the power-ups and other changes. Hope you guys like it!




Aces High - Another Demo Soon
Posted on December 01, 2006 at 12:11

Man do I love Fridays. Saturdays are fun, and Thursdays are kinda sweet, but Friday... there is no other day of the week that offers as much promise and excitement. Friday tells you not to look back at the work you did that week, and promises that you've got two days of vacation ahead. I love it. Anyway, enough of that. the less said about my continuing lust for Friday, the better.

I've worked a bit on Aces High over the last couple of days, and I think I might just have the game ready for one more demo this weekend. I am particularly excited about this because <a href="http://www.reflectgames.com">Reflect</a>; functionality has been added, works great, and I am excited to see how people like it. I originally wanted to hold back on this release until the final, but I think bug testing the multiplayer (and the added Reflect functionality) on a large scale via one more demo might be a better idea. I've added some more special effects, some fixes, host commands, power-ups, and a few other things since the lest demo, and I have decided to cut out the bomb-able targets for now, possibly to be added in later on. I'll keep you guys updated on this, and will post a link in my blog when I have released the next demo on the GMC (since timed releases on 64D are virtually impossible to accomplish).

Now that I think about it, looking at everything else I have to do this weekend kinda makes me wonder why I am considering it a two day vacation from work. I'll be putting some demo touches into Aces High and hopefully releasing a new demo, working on some concepts for a logo, finishing one of the three paintings I have to do, and converting some articles over to HTML for a website I'm working on. I think I'll be able to knock a lot of this stuff out early Saturday though, so it probably won't seem like too much to do once I get down to it. I'd also like to spend some time with my girlfriend, who has been gone all week on yet another business trip, but we'll see.

Of course, I'll be playing games too, when I can... a friend and I just finished Act 1 of Gears of War on Insane difficulty, and we're anxious to continue plowing through the Locust this weekend. Good stuff!

Anyway, I am at work, so I'd best be going. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and thanks for reading!




Where the Hedgehogs Go
Posted on November 26, 2006 at 23:48

Oh, Sonic Team, what have you done? There used to be a time when I looked forward to seeing a certain little blue hedgehog racing across my TV screen. My ears were fond of that little “bling” noise for every ring picked up. And my hands twitched at the thought of every button on the controller making my hedgehog jump. Alas, those days are gone.

A couple of months ago, I had the misfortune of trying out the Sonic the Hedgehog demo for the Xbox 360, the newest title thrown into the slew of 3D Sonic games. Of course, every game has a catch, and this one was that the game was supposedly going back to the basics – platform / exploration based gameplay, juggled in with enemies, bosses, and of course, pure speed. But as is seemingly the new norm with games based in the Sonic universe, I was treated to a game with lousy sound work, questionable graphics, and touchy controls, where accidental deaths are apparently part of the experience. Granted, the demo I played was not supposed to reflect the final quality of the game, but judging from some of the reviews I’ve seen for the game thus far, I am not in a minority in my distaste for the game.

I’m sure some of you are thinking to yourselves at this point, “Who cares about Sonic the Hedgehog?” Well, I do. I grew up when Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario were constantly dueling. Mario was well-established, and had huge games. Sonic was the cool new kid, with unparalleled speed. I liked them both, and to me, the competition between Sega and Nintendo seemed to make each of their software teams put all the little extra touches they could into their first party games, in order to better sell their respective systems.

I played the hell out of those games. I loved the Sonic series, from plain old Sonic the Hedgehog (the one that came packed in with the Sega Genesis) all the way up to Sonic & Knuckles. The simplicity of the gameplay, the creative graphics, and the memorable music and sound effects all just worked.

Skip ahead a decade and a half, and what has Sonic Team done to the series since the original? To their credit, the graphics have taken a turn for the better. Despite the occasional glitch here and there, the Sonic games of today run blindingly fast, are colorful, and usually detailed. Aside from the visual treats, the rest is trash. Unmemorable, generic techno music in the background. Lame sound effects. Enemies that are not engaging. Controls that make Sonic go from standing to running with an immeasurably small amount of movement on the analog stick. Strange characters that look kind of like Sonic, but not really. And weird “special moves” that make you fly all over, mid-air.

Sonic Team / Sega are ruining their most famous mascot. I know they can do better than this. They need to take a breather, look back at what made the old Sonic games good, and come up with something better than this generic, on-rails, pseudo platformer. I wouldn’t even mind if they just remade the old games with a 3D platformer engine… If that’s what it takes to get this series back on track, then so be it. I’d much rather see that than have my beloved Hedgehog fall by the wayside because, despite the power of the systems his games are released on, and how much time is spent on said games, his games stink.

Oh well… here’s hoping for next time. If history repeats itself, however, I will anxiously download and try out the new Sonic demo months / years from now, only to be yet again disappointed. Anyway, I think I hear a game of Gears of War calling me from my living room. Maybe chainsawing a few people online will cheer me up, heh heh.

Thanks for reading!




Fred joins the COG
Posted on November 21, 2006 at 14:51

Yeah, it's been a while since my last blog... I've been pretty busy with a lot of different things, and I haven't been at my apartment as much during the last couple of weekends! I am back now though, with no more huge trips are on the horizon, so I'll fill you in on what I've been up to since my last installment of blog.

As some of you might know, I caved in a week before the Wii / PS3 launch, and picked up an Xbox 360. Before you all take up arms, do not despair; I will be grabbing a Wii (puns!) sometime in the future, probably next year.

With that said, the 360 has been a lot of fun so far, and Gears of War is utterly amazing! For anyone who hasn't played this game yet, go do it. Head over to a friend's house, rent it, do whatever you have to do - the game is that great. The single player game is admittedly short, but coupled with the multiplayer, makes for a game that won't get old for a long, long time. I am really having fun with it, and I am positively blown away by the graphics, sound, and gameplay... a triple whammy of fun that doesn't come along very often in this industry.

Aside from that, I've been playing around with Perfect Dark Zero, Burnout Revenge (came with the system), and a handful of Xbox Live Arcade games. Hopefully Small Arms (another XBL Arcade game) turns out well this wednesday - it looks like a combination of Smash Bros. and Soldat. I also got the system to stream all my MP3's and video files from my computer, another really great feature of the box. It'll be interesting to see what kind of new stuff comes out in the coming months now that the 360 isn't the only player on the field.

Needless to say, I am liking the 360, and I think Wii60 will be the way to go for this generation of consoles. But I digress, I could go on and on... I haven't had too much time for games this last weekend, because I just got back from Los Angeles! My girlfriend had another business trip, and I got to tag along again. We didn't really get to do an awful lot, since most of our time was spent working at her event an traveling, but we got to look at lots of stuff including the Getty Museum, a very amazing place. I would have liked to see more of the collection of art, but the time I spent there was fun and interesting - they have a lot of great artwork, and a nice collection of Iconic art from the 500-1000 era on display right now. If anyone is in the area and has some time to kill, I highly recommend visiting.

I've also begun work on a set of three paintings for a friend... I believe I mentioned this before, but now I have officially started working on them. I've got all the supplies, and now just need o bear down and get the things done. I am really liking how they are turning out though - perhaps when I am finished I'll post some pictures here!

Of course, I have not forgotten about Aces High. I have gotten some more work done with the game, adding some special effects here and there, refining some of the way things work, etc. I'm not sure if the game will be finished before the end of the year, but I will be continuing work on it when I have time in between my other projects and I hope to get it out as soon as possible!

Anyway, another long period in between my blogs, and another long blog. I'll stop it here though... as I am at work while I am writing this, and we have to put a lot of extra work in this week so we can take off an extra day for Thanksgiving. You have your homework though - try Gears of War! You'll enjoy it!

And if you already have it, let me know, maybe we can play online sometime! Thanks for reading!




Torn between Wii and 360
Posted on November 07, 2006 at 23:23

Being into games as much as we all are, I think most of you will understand what a sad, sad situation it is when one is torn between two games that look completely and utterly awesome. Especially when the purchase of aforementioned games means that one will have to choose not only between the games themselves, but the systems they run on (at least, for a time anyway).

Enter the Nintendo Wii, and the MS X-Box 360. The Wii looks to be a small box of fun, even if it’s not a small box of technological wonder. The little white box promises to revolutionize the control of future gaming, has the star power (a la Mario, Link, Samus, etc.) to back it up, and not hurt the wallet all that much. The 360, on the other hand, is a powerhouse, designed to push polygons to bounds they have not yet known. It’s gaming library is not very large yet, but it’s got some great titles out, and more son the way. Ah, decisions, decisions.

The games that act as the opposite ends of my virtual gaming torture rack are The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Gears of War. Both games that I am sure I’ll enjoy, and both that fill me with that nice, fuzzy gamer feeling when I check out their trailers and screenshots. Being a highly anticipated election night, I find it suitable to present both sides of my argument, and if you, the reader, would like to, you may add your vote (and hopefully a little persuasive reasoning along with it) in the comments section of this blog.

I’m excited about the Wii because of a few things. First and foremost, it looks like fun. Working my way through a reportedly 50-70+ hour game of Zelda and using my motions as Link’s cues to slash his sword sounds awesome, and every report I’ve read on the subject have been nothing but gushing praise and admiration for the scope and quality of this game, and others. There are quite a few other titles that look like they’ll be great, and the option of playing virtual console games and old Game Cube games (you can find used ones for dirt cheap at game stores) would be cool as well. On top of all that, you’ve got a price that clocks in much lower than any of the competition, and you’ve got a pretty good deal looking at you.

There are only two things that concern me about he Wii – that the controller could still become a gimmicky thing, and that the power of the system just won’t be able to keep up in developers’ eyes. I mostly don’t think the controller will become a gimmick, since Nintendo has been very dedicated to creating quality stylus experiences on the DS (a similar matter), and frankly, I don’t think they would have designed an entire system around a concept like the Wiimote without thinking it all the way through. Third party developer support is what most worries me, but Nintendo is heading out of the gate strong, so that is still very much in the hands of how consumers react to the product. Hopefully the lack of horsepower under the hood will not deter many as they enjoy themselves with the new control setup.

The 360 looks great to me for a much different reason than the Wii – I’ve played it! The system has CPU power to spare, and the games I’ve played for it look incredible, and are not a hollow, graphics-only experience. I really enjoyed the internal interface, and had a good time goofing around with X-Box Live, downloading and playing game trailers, demos, etc. The wireless controller with rumble is completely awesome, and everything is very easy to use and fun to play around with. Being able to interface the system with an existing computer network and exchange media between PC and 360is also a plus. Microsoft has really learned from their past mistakes, and it’s easy to say that I like what I see.

That said, there are things that concern me about the X-Box 360 as well. The system has been out for a full year now, and there still doesn’t seem to be all that many games out for it. I almost want to say that it seems that developers are waiting around for the other two consoles before they really start firing on all cylinders, but there is no truth to this, so far as I know. Perhaps it’s just that with bigger storage, and more processing power, games are taking longer to create for the “next-gen” systems? Regardless of the time it takes to develop a game, there is one thing I am sure that is increasing with the inclusion of higher definition content, and that is the price of games. Price is an issue for me with the 360 in general. $400 for the console (if I bother getting one, I’m getting a good one), $60 for games, and a small subscription fee for X-Box Live. That, versus the $250 for the Wii console, $50 for games, and no subscription fee, looks pretty weak. Hard to say though, because the production value is definitely there in the 360.

So why am I really writing this now? Why did I write up a huge blog that many of you out there will probably just skim through? Because I am largely considering getting a 360 tomorrow, with the release of Gears of War. I’ve got the day off, I’ve got an extra bit of money coming to me this month, and I’m dying for some entertainment. Should I get a 360? Should I hold out for a Wii? Should I just screw the whole thing and stick to my regiment of Counter-Strike: Source and various other games? You decide, ’06.

By the way, to everyone who read every last bit of this mess, I appreciate that, and any input you might leave for me! Thanks!




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