When To Go Next-Gen?

2 11 2016

My PS3 (and GameCube)

I have been thinking a lot recently: I have been thinking about a lot of things; things such as work, writing, hobbies, music, the new Godzilla film, but as to what I have been thinking about as to the reason for this post, is when should I go Next-Gen, and by that I mean, when I should take my current Video Gaming experience to the next generation……….of consoles?

magnavox-odyssey

In the world of Video Games, whenever a new set of Video Game Consoles begin to make an appearance or debut, they are considered as the Next Generation of Consoles. Video Game consoles do not last, once a new one has been released, work has already started on its successor (and machinery is prone to failure and will always eventually die). Now this work comes more in the form of design and development and it will actually be a few years until official news has been released regarding the next console. There is already speculation in the air though before that as to what it will be called, look like and feature, and most of the time when you look online to look these things up, all you will really find are tiny snippets of speculation plus a suggestive idea of what said console may look like, but most of the time such deigns are never implicated. Eventually though they would be released and the debate would rise again as to which console is best and which one should be bought.

Wii U

The Current generation of consoles started to make their appearance in 2012 with the release of the Nintendo Wii U, however it really kicked off a year later with the release of both the (MicrosoftXbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 at the same time. Current sales figures suggest that in terms of home console sales, the PS4 is currently winning with over 40 Million sales, while the Wii U has totaled over 12 million sales and the Xbox One has over 21 Million sales. The debate though as to which console is the overall best is probably still raging with no clear winner in sight. When a new console is released, excitement fills the air as gaming fanatics and industry veterans look on to see what the consoles are like, but more importantly what the games are like; after all that is the sole purpose of Video game Consoles, to play games. While they can browse the web and be used for other entertainment purposes, without Games to play on them, they are simply not Video Game consoles. In the past I too have been excited to see what the consoles are going to be like, and have shown great interest especially with the release of both the GameCube in 2002 and the Wii in 2006. Come 2012 and 2013 however, due to a change of vision and regular hobbies, I only took a partial look towards the new consoles released at the time and so far have not really taken much of a look or interest, and have really just enjoyed playing on the consoles I have and the cheap games I can play on them.

far-cry-primal

But recently I have been thinking. While replaying some games on my PS3, namely Killzone 3 and Beyond: Two Souls, I began to wonder if it was time to get a new console, or if not now, when? You see, while I am enjoying my new lease on video gaming life, trying out the games I did not get a chance to at one point; I realized that eventually, I would run out of things to play as all the new games would be on newer consoles. There are games on the next generation of consoles I do want to play like the recently released Far Cry Primal, but I don’t really see a point at getting a new machine when currently there is only one game I really ‘want’ to play. I feel that I should wait until there are more games, more options, games to keep me going for now, while also buying cheaper pre-owned games to fill in other times. While this may be the case so far with the new lot, I still ‘want’ more of a reason to buy a new machine. More want games rather than like to games. Money and purchases become more valuable as you grow up as I have begun to realize, that now unless I really want something, I probably will not purchase it. Most of the pre-owned games I am playing at the moment are ones I would like to try, but due to their cheapness, a few quid is nothing, compared to ten’s if not hundreds of pounds. When spending so much more cash, even if the amount is still relatively small, you really need to be sure that you really want to give it a go, which at least when you purchase it will give you a good feeling, not a nervous one, because when that happens, it’s easy to instantly regret spending so much. You need to be sure. So while there is at least one game I ‘want’ to play, there is still not enough to make it worth it.

horizon-zero-dawn

While I may not be certain as to when given the value of purchases I have begun to live by, I am more certain though of which console I want to purchase. I have looked into it, and the other two do not really provide me with much interest as to have a desire to purchase them enough compared to this one, and also, I know that while some games may be off, this console will be able to play the games I want to play. While most games can be played on most if not all consoles, some game consoles have exclusives of which only their console will be able to play, and knowing what games I like I know that in terms of exclusives, only the PlayStation 4 rocks my boat. But there is still not enough to want to make me buy anything. But that could be about to change.

Since a couple of weeks ago, I have begun to look into purchasing the console. Now there are a few niggling little details such as:

  • Though while pre-owned consoles are cheaper, does that mean pre-owned ones have less abilities or features?
  • Does the PS4 have the same Blu-ray system as my PS3, especially the bit where my PS3 is letting me watch multi regional Blu-rays?
  • Can PS3 games be played on it or should I keep my PS3 too?

But in terms of the games I ‘want’ to play debacle, things are beginning to look up as on the horizon there are at least three games due for release (one later this year, another next year, and one in active development) that I really want to play. Later this year Dishonored 2 is due for release; this year I have played the first Dishonored and absolutely enjoyed it and really want to play the second one. Next year; Horizon Zero Dawn is due for release. I don’t know much about it other than its core concept, and that it’s by Killzone developers Guerrilla Games. Then, while no release date has been specified yet, I really like the look of Detroit: Become Human by Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream.

dishonored-2

While these games have still yet to be released, it gives me more options and reasons to buy a new console in the future. When that will be I don’t know. I could buy one to play Dishonored 2 as soon as it gets released, or I may just wait until the release of the others. Either way, these new games give me plenty to think on and I am more certain now that one day I will probably purchase a new console; but in the meantime I have a near antique treasure trove of other games to enjoy.

My PS3 Games (at the moment)

GENEPOOL





MAG

19 08 2013

MAG Title

Back in 2008, at Sony‘s E3 Press conference, they revealed something amazing. Well they had to in the end. For me the best part of E3 is Nintendo‘s Press conference, but if you had seen how much of a disaster that was, I had to look towards other companies to give me something interesting. So the spot light turned on Sony. Sony revealed a Game trailer that looked absolutely Amazing. It showed huge amounts of Action on a battlefield sized epic. It was an upcoming First Person Shooter game called MAG which stood for Massive Action Game. About a year later I finally got round to buying the PS3 that I had planned on buying for a long while and was all set for the release of MAG. In January 2010 the game was finally released.

So what is MAG? MAG is a multiplayer game developed by Zipper Interactive who are best known for producing the successful SOCOM series for the PlayStation Brand. The game had no single player at all and was all focused on Multiplayer. The multiplayer that it offered though was a first. up to that point most console games available that had online multiplayer features could support up to about 32 players. The number was slightly larger though on PC thanks to Frontlines: Fuel of War which had up to 64 Players. MAG on the other hand could support up to 256 Players. This meant that the game could offer large battles between players.

MAG2

So if it is a multiplayer game only, what kind of story could the game offer? The game offered a little back story of PMC’s (Private Military Contractors) being used to wage wars between countries, three of them in total.

“The game begins in 2025. As time passes, maintaining a full-scale military becomes a burden. In a globalized world, the only security threat is from small-scale rogue organizations against whom large forces are useless, and the fuel needed to supply increasingly mechanized armies becomes more costly. As a result, most nations’ armies decrease to the size necessary to defend against a “national emergency.” Furthermore, under the “Millennium Accord”, no nation’s military is permitted to leave its own borders, officially creating world peace. In their place rise Private Military Corporations. They have two advantages: first, they compete, lowering their cost, and second, they are allowed to work for anyone, anywhere. In an unregulated global economy, the companies soon compete by less than honest means. After enough mergers, bargains and buy-outs, however, the remaining PMCs decide to put their weapons to full use. The original attacks follow a simple plan: neutralize a competitor’s soldiers, lowering supply to cause them to charge more and, ultimately, go out of business. The Shadow War, as it is called, grows in secret until the conflict moves into full swing, with the PMCs securing their own interests and violently fighting for contracts”. – Wikipedia

The three factions that could be played were:

  • Raven – A European PMC whose weapons and kit were very much the State of the Art faction of the Game.
  • S.V.E.R. – A Russian PMC whose look and weapons were like that of Rebels and guerrilla style tactics.
  • Valor – An American style PMC styled a lot like the SAS and Royal Marines.

MAG Factions

Any doubts before the Game’s Launch? The only thing I was personally worried about was the strength of the internet connectivity of the game’s multiplayer. This was the main thought for many people who thought the game would lag a lot and freeze. This idea was helped thanks to a test of the game at the 2009 Eurogamer Expo in Leeds where some of the machines were not working properly, however the game was still in its BETA version. However one thing in support of the game surfaced just before the release of the game stating that the first multiplayer game for the PS2 was produced by Zipper Interactive and so their knowledge on the subject would help, also it would be likely that a very buggy game would not have been released in the first place.

Zipper Interactive

So what was it like when the game was released? When I picked it up I had to go through a couple of updates before I was ready to play. when the main intro came up, it was brilliant and this was followed by a great menu screen with some music that made me think of Goldeneye 007 on the Nintendo 64. The game also had a Tutorial as well to help you get started but after that I was straight in to my first matches. The game offered many different types of Game matches to play but you had to work up to and unlock them as you went on. You did this by gaining experience in matches and going up in the in-game ranks. this also depended on which army you decided to go with, I went with Raven. The first games I could play were Suppression and Sabotage. Suppression was between 64 players, 32 players from one faction and 32 from another. it was a straight death match style game, first to run out of reinforcements wins. Sabotage was more about claiming and defending objectives. 32 Players from one team defend objectives from 32 from another team. As the game progressed I unlocked more and more matches like Acquisition which involved 128 players split in two defending prototype vehicles from the other team. Then there was Domination which involved 256 Players split in two. One team defending objectives while the other attacks.

Is it all about Guns? No, not at all, the game’s setting and battlefields also included other things to do other than shoot people. By securing objectives in battle you got extra points, healing team members, repairing structures, destroying vehicles, repairing vehicles, all sorts really. Throughout the game you also had the chance to lead squads, platoons and the whole company in battle. This was achieved by the rankings achieved in the game depending on how well you did after you unlock the leader ability. As a leader (depending on what rank of leader) you could give objectives to team members as well as use abilities such as Mortars and Recon vehicles and set up blockades, increase rate of deployment for your team and many other things too.

MAG1

How did the game advance after initial release? After initial release things went ok, new updates every now and again. as you progressed you unlocked new abilities and weapons too. it was not until the game had some new modes that things got a little better. Interdiction was very much a vehicle orientated mode where squads would have their own vehicle to drive. The mode had 128 players split in two each trying to capture three points on the map. Escalation was then released which became the only map where all 3 factions were present. 96 Players split in three trying to gain locations on a map to gain the final one.

MAG3

So What happened? After a while it became harder and harder to play the game. Not based on any level of difficulty but in the form of playing it. While at release there were some buggy issues and disconnecting problems which lost your in-game progress these eventually settled. But after the escalation release modes like Escalation and Interdiction were almost impossible to play as no one else wanted to play them. While the developers would later allow all levels to be played by all factions as some were only playable if a certain faction was present, it did not really help things and as time went on and new games came out. MAG, while still fun would be left in the dust. Once a stable of my time on the PS3, it now gathers dust before I trade it in. The sooner the better too as it has been announced the servers will close in January 2014 therefore making the game unplayable.

MAG4

Does it have a Legacy? While many people who played the game may not think so, the game was revolutionary in its own right and in many cases a fail needs to come before a success. I hope that the main idea of MAG will one day resurface and Large Battles of an epic scale become a main stay but some improvement such as some kind of story or in-game rounds over a period of months, gaining territory here and there to declare a winner and more points would be nice. This kind of idea in my mind would best suit future first person shooter games like the Battlefield series or a new Frontlines, or maybe even something from Guerrilla Games perhaps.

GG

Any final thoughts? While the game may not have been the success many thought it could be, I really enjoyed this game and while it may be coming to an actual end, there is a possibility of something to potentially look forward too.

MAG

GENEPOOL








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