Home > Video Games (Main) > Daily Gaming Experience 05/19

Daily Gaming Experience 05/19

So it looks like all of a sudden there’s another great game to possibly buy.  I was surprised to say the least that Red Dead Redemption had gotten the incredible praise it’s gotten over the past couple days.  It seems like reviewers and gamers alike are really having a great time with it.  I’ve pretty much seen and heard all there is to see and hear short of actually playing the game.  It’s set in the wild west and being developed by RockStar it has a very Grand Theft Auto-like feel to it.  There’s a vast open world for you to explore and many side quests you can take on that divert you from the main story if you so choose.  The consensus seems to be that the game itself is about 20 hours long if you plow right through and can be twice that if you like to roam like I do.  So far so good.

The multiplayer seems to be average with your standard deathmatch, capture the flag, etc. and the combat is nothing special.  The real draw however is Free Roam mode where you have free reign of the entire campaign world and can do whatever you want with up to 16 players at a time.  Find and shoot each other or join up and take down gangs and perform tasks.  You’ll gain experience points, new guns, and new horses for accomplishing said tasks.  Sounds really cool to me especially when the world seems to be really huge.

My only caveats are little things that personally bug me about these types of games.  In Grand Theft Auto and Mass Effect, while they have their differences, you always start over much too far from where you died during a mission.  I gave up on these games because I simply wasn’t going to go through 5 minutes of gameplay I had already done again or manage a death defying chase I had already gotten past before.  It just killed it for me and I really wanted to like those games.  I’m all for immersing myself in one game.  In fact I prefer it but I don’t want to waste my time replaying parts and going through the motions when there’s a lot more to see and do……and the fact that I just shouldn’t have to do it again!!!

I’m trying to get more feedback on this and so far it’s been favorable (you don’t seem to die that much I guess) but you also can’t sell old guns which seems strange to me.  Oh well.  I guess I’m being too greedy and hoping for a new Borderlands set in the wild west on top of what’s already apparently a great campaign.  That’s a little too unrealistic to ask for I think, however I’ll continue to get more info and hopefully make a decision by next week at the very latest.

Now I’m going to rag on Microsoft Game Room again.  Sorry, but I still don’t think I’ve described aptly the travesty that is this feature.  So what I’m going to do is demo the new group of games that came out today and gives you my thoughts on each.  Below that will be comments from Game Room fans about the same games.

Map Pack 4 (I swear it’s there was 2 at release and this is the 3rd since…..)

……….waiting for it to load.  Why is it at 18% 15 seconds later?  A technical wonder let me tell you………about a minute has gone by now and we’re at 57%.  Why do we have to download game packs in the first place?  Seriously is there is no other place on the dashboard where you have to download a file for the privilege of simply being able to see what you might want to buy.  Honest to god.  Fully downloaded at about the 2 minute mark.  And we’re off:

Asteroids When Asteroids Deluxe was first released in the Game Room, was it just too insane for you to handle?  I mean there was a shield for your spaceship and one new enemy so it’s understandable.  If that’s the case then you’re in luck because the original Asteroids is here!  Sarcasm aside did we seriously need TWO Asteroids games in the first month and a half of Game Room’s existence, or at all for that matter?  What a joke.  Anyways, it’s Asteroids. I don’t think I have to explain the game to you.  It’s not worth $3.  One thing I will admit though is that the cabinet artwork is awesome.  It’s colorful, has an ’80s sci-fi comic book theme, and even the actual screen has artwork around the border.  Very cool and if you have the cash to spend and you’re more concerned with the look of your arcade it might be an impulse buy.  I think the Game Room version looks even better than the one below.  I think the black was replaced with blue or something. FYI Battlezone and Super Breakout fit this description as well if you’re into paying $3 a crack for games you can find on your PC for free any time you want.

Demons to Diamonds This is another Atari 2600 pile of crap that was probably an above average game at the time.  You shoot lasers from the bottom of the screen and can only move left to right.  The blobs….er, demons shuffles from the left and right side of the screen.  Looks like there are also little diamonds you can shoot for points as well.  When you kill a demon it turns into a skull and crossbones and becomes a permanent fixture on the board and doesn’t move.  It’ll also kill you almost instantly if you remain directly under it for more than a millisecond.  The game is too fast for its own good especially with the wonky and somewhat unpredictable controls, and of course it looks like ass.  In true Game Room form, it’s fun for about four seconds.

Grand Prix Another Atari atrocity (say that three times fast), they really can’t be serious with this one.  From a top down view you drive what looks like a pine derby race car from left to right.  The only button accelerates but don’t go too fast!  You might bump into another car slowing you down momentarily or hit an oil slick causing your car to move slight left or right (or from your perspective, up or down)…….and that’s about it.  I played the demo and got first place I guess.  I kept passing cars with no indication as to what place I was in.  There was a “1” at the bottom of the screen but the number never changed throughout the race.  When I reached the finish line the game simply stopped, leaving me to stare at the screen unable to do anything.  Keep in mind when I criticize these games I’m not criticizing the developers at the time or the game’s quality at the time of release.  I’m criticizing the fact that MS could actually think it was worthwhile to port something like this and sell it for an inflated price.

Shark!  Shark! I think we can all agree the title of this one is awesome.  Saying it with the right intonation makes you cool, trust me.  On a related site note, I sorta do mean that about it being a cool title.  The reason is because there’s no way they would name a game in the same way nowadays.  Anyhow, this is an Intellivision game and for reasons I can’t explain I’m a little less hard on these ones than the Atari games.  Maybe it’s just because even with what little Atari had to go by in terms of what makes a good game, Intellivision had even less and probably the inferior technology as well.  This games take place on one single screen in an underwater landscape you play one of a few fish floating around.  All you do is when the shark appears don’t let him touch you.  You have “dart” and “stop” buttons at your disposal but neither seem to really do anything.  I tried to convince myself for a little bit that they were working but to no avail.  It’s nothing more than a pleasant distraction at best but in the early ’80s I could see a child enjoying it.  EDIT:  Now I see from further research you can eat other fish and grow larger.  Kinda like that Feeding Frenzy game (I think).  Meh.

Space Duel Okay I’m really not trying to be a jerk here, but this is Asteroids with colorful graphics and better movement.  That’s it!!!  Seriously why in the world are they subjecting us to all these?  They can’t be waiting this long to drop good arcade games on us.  Maybe they simply don’t have them?  How else can you explain three games that are almost exactly alike and the release of both Millipede and Centipede???  Honestly I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they released the arcade version of Millipede next week, because the Atari version is just not enough!!!  This one also has full cabinet artwork, although I’m not a huge fan of it personally.  Admittedly this is a bad picture.  The graphics actually have clean lines using vector graphics similar to Tempest.

Stampede Yet another Atari game, although I can’t really complain much.  I still wouldn’t be caught dead buying it, but unlike most Game Room releases I don’t feel like my character is moving underwater.  You’re a cowboy on a horse and you press ‘A’ to shoot out your lasso and rope a calf.  The different colored calfs are worth different amounts of points.  For some reason after about 20 seconds of gameplay the game just stops.  Not sure if this is just because it’s a demo, but I think not because I was able to restart.  I would wager it’s a bug simply because based on the short history of Game Room that’s the most likely answer.  I do admit that if the cowboy on horse is the game’s mascot I might have to spend 50 cents to have him riding around my arcade, especially if he uses his lasso intermittently.

Time Pilot This game isn’t really an Asteroids clone per se………….okay it is, but it’s about as far away from Asteroids you can get while still being a clone.  Does that count for anything?  I don’t even know anymore, and I gave up care long ago.  Whatever, it’s got something similar to 8-bit graphics and clouds flying around in the background at least give you the impression you’re soaring in the air.  The gameplay still boils down to spinning around and shooting at things.  I give up.  We’re up to four games that can suitably satisfy your craving for Asteroids.

I seriously thought this entry was going to be redundant, but apparently I’ve found yet another item in the long list of Game Room complaints.  FOUR games that are almost exactly the same?  Come on, we’re past the high price point.  Now MS is directly flipping the bird to anyone that genuinely wants to like Game Room in general.  I mean really you’re not even giving me good variety, and there are THOUSANDS of Atari, Intellivision, and arcade games from the ’80s alone!  I want to like this feature more than life itself and the best you can do is put me on the fence about buying a 50 cent mascot?  So much untapped potential that will probably stay that way, at least until something surprises me in one of the upcoming game packs.

It’s very telling when almost no one on my friend’s list has done anything more than download Game Room, stare at it for a few seconds, and left an empty arcade behind.  I keep my friends list in the family for the most part (i.e., people I’m friends with in real life), but I know more than a few casual and hardcore gamers and a couple guys that plays video games and do little else when they’re not working.  Those guys don’t even have anything in their Game Rooms and they each own hundreds of video games!  Again, what a shame.  This could be so much more but I guess MS just doesn’t care whether or not they squeeze $3 purchases out of a few hundred people instead of $1 or $2 purchases from hundreds of thousands.

Just for fun, I leave you with some of the things real gamers who actually like Game Room are saying about the new games.  Based on what you’ve read above matched against the below comments, decide for yourself who’s crazy.  As always, keep in mind these are 25-30 year old games and the cost of each is $3:

“I’m not sure what I’ll be getting this week but I think Space Duel and Shark! Shark are definites, I’ll check the rest out and see.”

“Shark! Shark! Was my first Intellivision game purchase in Game Room. Now I think I’ll go back and buy some of the others.”

“For now, I’ve only purchased Time Pilot and Space Duel. Never heard of Space Dual, demoed it… loved it”

“Space Duel has honestly impressed me with its concept.”

“i bought asteroids (even though i already had deluxe…just had to have the full collection i guess lol) space duel and time pilot…i may buy 1 or 2 more this week but its no certainty”

“Well I think {the first one I pick up will be} Demons to Diamonds, its freaking awesome so pick it up.”

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