Fact or Fiction 10/25/2004

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posted 10/25/2004 by The GN Staff
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Welcome to the 8/25/2004 edition of Fact or Fiction. We're going to make this a regular feature and speak on five topics. This week we have Charles Husemann, Charlie Sinhaseni, and John Yan on the panel.

1) Half-Life 2 is now gold.. but because of the lateness the impact of the game will be a lot less than what it would’ve been a year ago.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. Since the delay the market has seen titles like Far Cry and Doom III come and go. One of the biggest lures of Half-Life 2 was its groundbreaking technology, but now that trump card is gone. We’ll have to see how the gameplay holds up but the screenshots alone won’t be able to carry it.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. This game is still going to be one of the biggest releases of the year. It might have had a slightly bigger impact last year but remember that the Half Life series is about story telling and not graphics. Besides, didn’t I cover this already?

John Yan: Fiction. It's not hard to see that the game's still going to have a huge impact just by the fact that our articles with Half-Life 2 content are big traffic collectors. I will say the physics engine will not get the attention it would've if it was released last year and before Max Payne 2. The online community still clamours for Half-Life 2 information and are eagerly anticipating the November release like a pack of hungry dogs awaiting to be fed.


2) The GameCube deserves more respect and more support.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fiction. Nintendo made a bevy of poor design choices when the GameCube was still on the drawing board and its paying for them right now. Regarded, Microsoft made the same kind of mistakes but it atoned for them by providing gamers with a more functional controller. Not only is the GameCube controller god-awful, but the games are sub-par as well. It’s no coincidence that the GameCube version of multi-player titles is consistently outperformed by its counterparts.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. Look at the release schedules and top selling numbers. Do you see any Nintendo games up there? I didn’t think so. Where’s the online service? Where are all of the games? At this pace, Mac users may have more high quality games than the Gamecube…

John Yan: Fiction. I personally think Nintendo should take the Sega route and just produce games for other consoles. The GameCube has a few followers but most of the people I know own either a PlayStation 2 or Xbox. The lack of some titles appearing on the GameCube while appearing on the other two show that some companies just don't see a viable market in producing games for that console.


3) The PSP will be the next big thing and take away the handheld lead from Nintendo.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. You truly have to see this thing in order to grasp just how amazing it is. Screenshots will never do the system justice because it’s truly an experience that has to be seen to be believed. Some people are arguing that PSP games will simply be dummed down PS2 ports, but guess what? Many GBA games were beefed up Game Boy ports. Does the name Pokemon ring a bell? The DS has a chance but Nintendo will really need to come out guns ablazing for this one. But until I see a true killer app that can match the graphics, sound and video quality of the PSP, I’ll change my mind.

Charles Husemann: Fiction. Not with this release and a proprietary movie format. It’s going to cut in a little bit but it’s hard to argue with the sexiness (and backwards compatibility) of the Nintendo DS.


John Yan: Fact. I think Sony's record with consoles will translate over to the handheld arena. The PSP has all the features that geeks love while looking sleek. It's hard to believe that Nintendo will be knocked down from the handheld throne but it happened once before with the console and I think it will happen again. There was a time when we thought Nintendo would be the king forever but kings are made to be conquered. Sony's got the power to do it too and the PSP looks like a legitimate threat to me.

4) First person games are becoming old and tiresome with no innovation.

Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. DOOM III was supposed to redefine the first person shooter market, instead it just sort of maintained the status quo. The atmosphere was great but it lost momemtum about 8 hours into the adventure. Then again, Ubi’s Far Cry completely changed the way I looked at first person shooters. The lush environments and intense action kept me hooked until the very waning moments. Even the kiss of death (the inclusion of monsters) didn’t seem to harm the game too much. Let’s just hope that the industry tries to avoid trends though. It looks like the market is trying to turn Vietnam into the next WWII.

Charles Husemann: Fact. While we’ve seen a lot of great FPS games this year there really hasn’t been a big jump in the evolution of the genre. Half-Life 2 and Halo 2 are going to be nice evolutions but there still isn’t a revolutionary game out there right now.

John Yan: Fact. I love FPS games as much as the next guy and it's probably my favorite genre. The fact is though that they are all starting to blend in in terms of gameplay and nothing really innovative has come out in a long time to really bring a FPS into the forefront. Graphics can always be improved but we might have hit the plateau with FPS games in terms of gameplay. I'll still pick up a few FPS games here and there but I hope there's something coming out that will take the genre to the next level other than an improvement in graphics.


5) There are too many MMORPGs that the market will become oversaturated.


Charlie Sinhaseni: Fact. I don’t personally play MMOs but I’ve seen enough of them to know that there are way too many in development. Perhaps that’s the reason why a couple of them (True Fantasy Online and Dragon Empires) have already been cancelled. EverQuest 2 looks promising but I’ll never understand the allure of any MMO. I’ve got real friends and I don’t need to prance around as a level 55 Wood Elf to feel good about myself.

Charles Husemann: Fact. People only have so much money and time to spend on MMORPG’s per month and there are just too many games out there right now. There will be room for some cool select games like City of Heroes but unless they can bring new people in there’s going to be some games fading from the scene.

John Yan: Fact. Pay per play is a model that only has so many subscribers available because of the time, effort, and resources it takes to play them. Really, if I was spending $10 a month and 4+ hours a day on a MMORPG, there's not enough time and money for another to be in my gaming regiment. And most of them are fantasy based MMORPGs with City of Heroes and Star Wars: Galaxies being two that are in a different setting. You'll have a few that will devote all their time, energy, and money into one but I don't think there are enough of those types of players to sustain all these MMORPGs that are coming out.