Metal Gear Solid 4 reinstates why being a PC Gamer sucks



Last year games like CoD 4, Halo3, Crysis, Gears of War, BioShock etc. impressed us with their stunning gameplay and texture details. For the first time we saw Consoles churning out stunning games with amazing production value and rich cinematic experience. 2007 was definitely a year of the Xbox360 with so many high quality exclusive releases. But Sony hopes to redefine this in 2008. MGS4, a PS3 only release sets the bar higher and does it in great style. It showcases the amazing power of the PS3 and well, makes my life even more difficult...

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was the most anticipated game this year (along from GTA4) and it definitely has lived up to all the hype and expectations. The game received a 9.9/10 from IGN UK, a 9.5/10 from IGN AU, and a 10/10 from IGN. IGN was quoted in a video review, saying MGS4 is "one of the best games ever made".GameSpot gave it a perfect 10/10 saying "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the most technically stunning video game ever made."

I know the X360 and PS3 camps are highly divided. Each group is proud of their exclusive titles. From an end user standpoint, I am still a little hesitant to buy one of these nex gen consoles. I can't wait to play Gears of War2 on Xbox live but don't want to miss out all the MGS4 and Grand Turismo action. And getting two consoles isn't a viable choice. PS3 has come back strongly and looking at the upcoming list of games, exclusivity is a trend that is here to stay for a long time.

All I can hope for is that Game studios don't forget us, the PC gaming enthusiasts and atleast port some of these titles for us. Till then the moral dilemma of which console to buy continues and hoping some day MGS4 comes to PCs.

Check out the video reviews below..

IGN review


Gamespot Review


GT Reviews


Zemanta Pixie

BioShock: Fixing the Savegame crash bug



Recently I bought the PC version of BioShock. I had been waiting for this release ever since the amazing reviews that came out which praised the console version of this modern FPS. Unfortunately, the pc game is riddled with bugs and spoils most of the fun.

The most irksome bug is the savegame crash bug. Each time you save your game, the game crashes/freezes. If 2k Games expects you to finish the game, playing continously for 36 hours, without any provision of saving, they surely overestimate our gaming provess. Anyways, let's fix it.

The key problem is that in th retail version, save files were being saved with the extension bsg when they should be bsb. To overcome this, here is something you should try.

Download this niftly little app called BioShock tweaker and change the save game extension from bsg to bsb. I also recommend running it at 1440*900 or lower.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F13QIOJU
http://www.zshare.net/download/4642386115a024/
http://rapidshare.com/files/67164931/BioShock_Tweaker.zip.html
http://www.badongo.com/file/4992310


BioShock is a beautiful game but 2K Games' poor execution for the PC enthusiasts leaves a lot to be desired. It should have never made to retail stores with so many bugs. Hopefully, some new patches will iron out all the bugs very soon. Till then, the world of Rupture awaits me. I am off.


Src: Grim_2o0o at 2K forums


My Verdict on Halo 3





As we were following Halo 3 in our previous weeks, a short verdict note to add here.
Halo 3 can be declared a runaway success. Favorable reviews, huge blockbuster opening (bigger than spidey 3, they say) and millions online on XBox live, currently competing with each other.
It's a great game and if you own an X360, go buy your Halo 3 copy now and if you don't own an X360, I suggest start saving money now, and buy yourself an Xbox360 and a copy of Halo3 for this Holiday season.

Apart from the being a quality product, Microsoft should also be applauded for the marketing efforts it put in, to promote the product. Never before, so much money and resources were spent on a game launch.

So what's the consequence? Where does Xbox go from here?


I believe, Xbox360 is way ahead of its competitors now (Wii and PS3 fanboys, don't start flaying me for this, personal opinion only). Gears of War, BioShock and now Halo 3, you have 3 solid reasons to buy the X360 now.
I really don't care if Wii has outsold the X360. C'mon Wii is almost 1/2 the price. Also, let's be frank here, Wii is not meant for serious gamers. It's cool, fun, can play with family etc...but you won't be playing Halo or MGS ever on it (Metroid an exception though). This clearly has been nintendo's product placement strategy, and it's good move. Nintendo has found a new GAP in the gaming segment and they have done remarkably well.

As a computer engineer, I can confidently say that good hardware needs to be backed with good software. A great example would be PS3s cell processors. If you don't have good SDKs written for such complex platforms, one can never utilise these great hardware and tap their potential.

PS3 might have great hardware but as a gamer, I really don't care unless I have some real cool games to play on it to appreciate its power and superiority.
I hope Sony learns a lesson or two here, and rallies behind developers and churns out nice titles to compete against the X360.

A healthy competition benefits us all. Looking forward to the next big game releases, till then happy fragging...

The week of Halo 3





Master Chief returns back for the last time to the Xbox Franchise, this September 25th to finish the war that started and save the world again ;).

Halo 3 is definitely the most eagerly awaited and highly anticipated Game for X360 this year, and its pre-orders have already crossed spectacular sales figures. Will Halo 3 manage to live up to our expectations? Well, we will have to wait for a few more days to find out.

This year easily belongs to the Nintendo Wii and the X360. We are yet to find a great FPS/Action game for the PS3. Unfortunately fans for this genre will have to wait for Metal Gear Solid 4 : Guns of the Patriots, which will be releasing later next year.

Recently, Metroid Prime 3 demonstrated that the Wii is meant for more serious gameplay than the image it currently potrays.Using its unique controller, the developers managed to create an excellent FPS which was fun and exciting to play. Fans are now eagerly awaiting for the next star wars game from LucasArts that will use the Wii Remote as a LightSaber. Cool eh!

On the other hand, Microsoft has been bagging exclusive titles after tiles for X360. This year, we have already seen the likes of Gears of War and Bioshock, 2 amazing titles unprecedented and revolutionary in all ways. They have rasied the bar for future games and definitely critics and fans would compare the Halo 3 with these 2 coveted titles.

Having said that, PC gamers need not fret, we have Crysis and Team Fortress 2 lined up and coming soon.

With so much excitement and buzz surrounding games, lets wish the poor game developers, best of luck, as the expectations are higher than ever before.

2006 : Year of Nintendo



Nintendo has had a dream run this year with the Nintendo DS reaching sales figure of 20 million and Nintendo Wii reaching 3.5 million in such a short run. What's so extraordinary is the fact that both of them had a stiff competition from the SONY camp during launch and were touted as underdogs who overhauled the superior products from SONY and set great examples of how understanding the target audience is so important for success.

Nintendo DS had to take on the technologically superior PSP. PSP was leaps and jumps ahead of any handheld console till date. It had amazing games, wifi, ability to watch movies, Mp3s etc. A truly revolutionary handheld console, but SONY's arrogance and bad marketing saw it lose against the DS.

History repeated itself when the Nintendo Wii was released against the over hyped SONY PS3.
Wii has been unanimously voted the gadget of the year.

We will have to wait and see, if SONY can learn from it's mistakes and come back strongly in 2007.

Spike Tv Awards Forget Sony

One of the most coveted Game awards , was presented recently with Gears of War and Elder Scrolls dominating the rolls. Unlike last year, Sony PS3 titles hardly won any awards and Wii ran away with the breakthrough of the year award. Following are some of the major award winners.

GAME OF THE YEAR
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda Softworks)

STUDIO OF THE YEAR

Epic Games (Gears of War)

CRITIC'S CHOICE
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo/Nintendo EAD)

BEST DRIVING GAME AWARD
Burnout Revenge, XBOX 360 (Electronic Arts/Criterion Games)

BEST ACTION GAME

Dead Rising (Capcom)

BEST PC GAME
Company of Heroes (THQ/Relic)

BEST RPG
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda Softworks)

BEST SHOOTER
Gears of War (Microsoft/Epic Games)

BEST MILITARY GAME
Company of Heroes (THQ/Relic)

BEST GRAPHICS
Gears of War (Microsoft/Epic Games)

BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Wii (Nintendo)



For complete info visit :  www.spiketv.com
http://www.joystiq.com/2006/12/09/sony-ignored-among-2006-spike-tv-awards-winners/

Verdict's out - Wii Vs PS3



My exams are still going on. Must have noticed, seeing the frequency of my blog posts. Anyways, thanks to digg and cnet, I was able to closely monitor the market response to the Wii, PS3, X360 and Zune.

It's been an intresting Console war. Nintendo seem to be winning the battle due to their strength in their operations, which has enabled them to churn out 4 million Wiis, this holiday season. Industry analysts say that PS3 having able to produce only 200,000 for US and European markets, may have frustrated fans, who've been queing up for days to get hold of a PS3. Ebay is seeing PS3s sold for insanely high prices and one wonders why.

The launch title for PS3, Resistance: Fall of Man , is a regular run-of-the mill,  FPS , offering the same old fight for existence story seen so many times in n number of titles
 before. Some good CGI and graphic tweaks, but bloated ( 20 gig game), is the only thing playable on PS3. A quick look at gamespot ratings reveal, apart from Resistance, none of the PS3 games have 8.0 or above ratings.

Wii on the other hand, is getting praises all over, due to its innovative new controller, fun games and easy availability on majority of retail shelves. The New York times and Popular Science rate it as the best innovation of this year, further down playing the superior and more expensive PS3s.

PS3 is Sony's biggest gamble. They are making a loss of over 300 USDs per console. Their only respite is the failing Yen rates against Dollar which may ammortize some of their losses. Nothin else seem to be working for the time being. Developers are complaining about the complexity to write codes for the multi cell CPUs. Gamers are complaining about the PS3s online experience had high game prices. And, with their supply being far less than the demand, they also have lost oppurtunity sales.

Wii might have won, but for how long is the question. Sony promises to ship out another 4 million by July and is definitely made to support games for the next 3-4 years. Only time will tell us, how Sony fares.

As far as Xbox goes, PS3 fanboys are being smitten by the awesome XBOX live service, the Gears of War title and the festival offers of Microsoft. Why not get a X360 instead, if you can't find a PS3 this christmas ? Microsoft is basking their success for now. They even reported , finally making a profit off every console sold. A year back, when it was released, Microsoft was also losing a lot, like Sony now. Time to rejoice finally, MS.

On the other hand, Zune seems to be traumatis
ed by bad reviews everywhere. Poor sales support this. More about this in my next blog. cheers.
 

War of Consoles


War of Consoles


Following are excerpts from my yahoo360 blog, posted few weeks back. Contain outdated information. Planning to write a script to autopost the same contents in both.

The big story this week, well, not one, but three. Three exciting new products were launched. Engineering and technological brilliance, well beyond the years. The battle of consoles heats up with 3 contenders fighting for the crown. Initially all the critics relegated Nintendo's contention and were focussing on the Redmond Giant and the Japanese Techlord, but lately Nintendo's unique gameplay and competitive pricing, have made them the favorites. Innovative and sporting a revolutionary new controller for playing console games, Wii tops my list of must haves.

Who wants 6 cell processors and Blue Ray or HDD devices. The essense of console gaming is having fun and not a super computer which can do anything. So whose the real winner ?.... IBM .
Kudos to IBM for develop the processors of all the 3 consoles. Amazing super power and architectural brilliance. Cell processors of PS 3 will pave way to next gen CPUs.






ZUNE CASTING


Microsoft loves entering new market segments. Why can't they just stick to what they are good at, i.e developing softwares. Well, not many have the guts to compete against Sony and Apple at their own terrains. MS launched their Zune player to compete against the Ipod. Zune touted as the next ipod killer has been facing bad reviews everywhere, specially by die hard ipod fans.
Personally, I admire Microsoft 's attempts to overthrow the ipod as I personally am bored by their dominance in the mp3 player segment. Apple's revenue from ipods is 3 times their Macs.
Who would have thought a music player will resurrect a PC vendor. Ipod nano is technological wonder, no doubt about it. The way their engineers put in so much in such a tiny package, itself is a wonder. But too many ipods spoil the fun. Let's have something new. Competition brings in innovations and is great for the economy. I hope people like the Zune.


No doubt, this week is my most cherished week, all this year. Great technology, nice articles, video coverages and cool reviews . Go to digg.com now. The hot topic is the one we are discussing here.
Anyways, next time. Laterz and happy teching.

....................

Gears of War, Heroes and more



After a very long time,
Gamespot gave such high points to a FPS.

Whooping 9.6 !!!. Last time I remember any FPS to get more than
9 was Fear. After that, its been a drought of good FPSs.

Gears of War, is touted as the next big thing to the XBOX genre
after Halo 2. Only time will tell how true it is. Anyways, its unanimous, If you have X360, go and get ur GOW now.




This week was, the latest Heroes - 107.
The directors have done a good job interconnecting lives of all
the characters who seem to posses some amazing superpowers.
Though, some of them are rip offs from the XMen series, but efforts to
make them look original is clearly visible. Every ep, some new superhuman
is introduced, and it keeps the show alive.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.!!!. They can do better than this ;)

Google's Expansion, Microsoft XBOX and more..

Tech-Me

My last 2 blogs were about two Tv shows which I saw during the weekends. That must give the general audience, a couch potato image of me. A fat, short guy with glasses, who loves to watch tv shows.

Here is a different side of me, a tech addict side. Doctors may wanna call this a "technomaniac" syndrome. I browse internet 15+ hours/day, visit Cnet.com and digg.com every 15 mins, and need a cool gadget review to make me high.


I was writing my security report on PayPay, when I stumbled accross Google's checkout. A solution which simplifies online buying. Initially people thought google was competing against PayPal but later it clarified that checkout is trying to solve a different problem, problem of keying in account details for every purchase. With checkout, google promises users to keep their account information safe, and start purchasing stuffs with a click of a button.

Who are they trying to fool ?

The Google I know, strives on competition on innovation. That's what the world loves about them.


Other hot news flying around digg these days is the 4.7 million+ lines of code of their new HDDrive support software for XBOX360, which microsoft proudly announced. Wow, thats shitload of code. Thats 1/10th the size of Windows XP. Wonder what Microsoft is hiding ?



I have had this crazy feeling that Microsoft has concealed control override codes in their products, and when the time is ripe, they will initiate Project World Domination ;). Software world over will takeover and a new society will be born. Oh. Ok that may be over exaggeration, but I hope you all got the picture.


Anyways, Best of luck to my two favorite companies. Hope both of them become successful projects.