Archive for November, 2008

Home Boring?

I’ve been in the beta for a week as of today, and I have to say two things:

1) It’s pretty.
2) It’s pretty boring.

I can see that much of the boring stuff can easily be fixed later, and probably will be. Like the fact that the mall contains absolutely nothing to buy, so every third person is a clone. That there’s almost nothing to decorate my apartment with. Or that not all of my friends are in Home – they don’t have Home (or a PS3!) yet.

Those “issues” will (hopefully) pass by the wayside. (I really hope that Sony doesn’t cheap out and charge for everything. We need to have a good selection of free stuff too!)

But what about the fact that there’s just nothing to do? Will that be fixed? There seem to be two primary purposes to Home:

1) Meet other gamers.
2) Enter games together (this is Home’s “crown jewel“).

I can see how (1) will be solved by Home. Just enter the world and start talking to people! But what about (2)? The only game I know of that supports Home game launching (HGL – new acronym!) is Warhawk. And even that seems to be disabled in the current build.

So once Home goes public, how many games will support HGL? Just Warhawk? A couple other first party titles? Will Sony make sure that their titles are retroactively patched with HGL? Will Sony pressure other studios to support HGL? I know one thing for sure – HGL is never coming to Call of Duty: World at War (my game du jour)! (See Activision’s track record.)

Sony needs to pressure development studios to support HGL in all new online games (I can hear Darrin coughing now). Sony needs to patch recent titles. Sony needs to pressure third parties for patches too. It’s obvious that HGL is only useful if a wide variety of games are supported. We can’t play Warhawk all day every day.

So the question is: by the time Home actually becomes useful because it has enough HGL titles, will it be too late?

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Some Great Black Friday Deals

Amazon has some great Black Friday deals. Don’t miss out!

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Resistance 2 Community Features

OK, I’m just going to do a brief overview of how Resistance 2 stacks up compared to Resistance with it’s community options.

Resistance was the king of online games when it came to having a superb infrastructure for playing with your friends online. It had an excellent Party system, great stats pages for keeping up to date and comparing stats with your friends and rivals etc. It had an Ignore List too so you could avoid any of the scummy little spawn killers and LAARK whores that popped up in Resistance.

For the actual playing side it had an excellent system where you could choose squads so you could chat privately with your friends and clan mates, you could mute any individuals that annoyed you too and of course it was open mic so none of this PTT crap.

I’m going to have a quick look at the community features for Resistance 2 and will leave the actual competitive comparisons to a later date.

Under the Community settings you can view your Profile, Clan Options and Leader boards. I will mainly look at the Clan Options for now though.

CLAN OPTIONS

So far so good. You don’t need to play a certain number of hours to create a clan like you do in other shooters like CoD4 for example (although as Emrah has reminded me in the comments, you can only have a clan tag in CoD4, not create a proper clan). There are also some very cool options for your clan.

Clan Config allows you to edit details about your Clan.

You can select between competitive or casual for your Clan Type. You can select which country your clan is from so if you’re from Taiwan or Germany or the UK you can select the actual country as opposed to the region. You can also select Europe if that takes your fancy too. You can also set the Invite Status to Recruiting, Open or Invite Only. You also have an option to change the announcement that will greet clan members or people viewing your clan. At the moment it is set to “Welcome to *Clan Name*”

There is a Roster where you can click on clan members and in there it has a boggling amount of stats. The stats detail information for Campaign (all difficulty levels too!), Co-operative and Competitive. They also cover stats for individual weapons, overall stats for kills, deaths, suicides etc, Ribbons and Medals earned and the number of Trophies you have collected.

This is also what you would see if you selected Profile in the initial Community page.

Invites allows you to see who has applied for your clan, who you have sent invites out to etc, both Personal and as a Clan.

There are also options to Search Clans and Disband Clan which does what it says on the proverbial tin.

Very impressive stuff. You can also go to MyResisistance.net for more options for your clan. I haven’t checked this out yet though.

Throughout all of this, a simple press of the triangle button brings up a list and by pressing R1 you can navigate a list of your Friends, Clan Options and Party Options. You can have up to 30 people in a Party too.

I’m not going to play online yet though. I’m going to play the Campaign mode first, then dabble in some online co-op with my friends before heading off into the competitive arena. :P

So far so good though. Resistance 2′s community features are a definite improvement over Resistance. I hope they have kept the squads and mute options from Resistance though. Can anybody confirm that you can choose between different squads and the option to mute other players in competitive games?

EDIT: To do what I should of done originally, here is more detailed info of how Resistance 2′s community options improve upon Resistance. Forgive me for being a little excited for what is my most anticipated game of 2008 and definite Game of the Year! :wink:

Pretty much everything I’ve written about is new and improved in Resistance 2. None of the above features where in Resistance and if they were they are of a far higher standard in Resistance 2.

In Resistance, you couldn’t check any of the online stats or options unless you signed in to Resistance online, which was completely separate from the story mode.

Resistance 2 pretty much links all 3 modes (story, co-op and competitive multiplayer) together (as you sign in when you start the game), so you don’t have to log into the servers and log out again to check stats or look at your clan mates info. It’s far more seamless and much improved over Resistance.

The layout of the stats is far superior too with the general presentation being of a far higher quality and not as dull as Resistance. Each category has their own pages, for example Ribbons and Medals are under the Rewards category, alongside Trophies.

In Resistance, you had to go to your profile then press a button and move through 2 or 3 separate pages to view your medals, ribbons and generals stats for weapons. These are all under your Profile but they are separated into categories in Resistance 2, rather than being crammed into 3 pages like they were in Resistance.

The stats under your personal profile go into far more detail too and cover a wider range of info. It now keeps track of how many suicides you have died from for example. I can’t recall them being in the Resistance stats. There are far more and I can’t name every single new stat that is now in Resistance 2 that were not in Resistance.

This is based off memory as I haven’t played Resistance in almost a year, so if I have some info wrong, then I do apologise.

Basically, everything that was present in Resistance has been refined to a much higher level and added to for Resistance 2 and the presentation is far easier on your eyes. It all gets a big thumbs up from me.

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Nice KZ2 Beta Videos

Watch in widescreen.

Watch in widescreen.

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