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Golden Jew’s Nuggets of Wisdom #3

posted on December 24th, 2008 by golden jew

Am I getting pickier, are developers getting suckier, or am I a fanboy?

I’m definitely gaming less, largely due to an increase in non-gaming activities eating my free time. As a result I’m finding myself particularly discriminating when it comes to what I actually buy and play. Video games aren’t my primary outlet these days, I’d say they consume 25% of my free time whereas in the past it might have been as high as 75%.

This has worked out well for me, because if I were a bored Golden Jew, I’d have trouble taking a strong stance on developers who have either pissed me off, or not managed to beat out the competition. Etrian Odyssey 2, for example, has turned me off to future installments of the game because of Atlus’ crass laziness in developing a sequel.

I’m on a huge hate binge of Firaxis because their business model revolves around the fact their community is made of Sid Meier felaters and talented modders who do his work for him (see Colonization and Civ 4 BTS as examples where this model succeeded, and Civ Revs as an example of where it did not). And despite my love of music games, I’m actually going to pass on picking up GH:WT. Not because it’s a bad game, by all rights it seems to be a very promising game, but because I believe in Harmonix and their platform play as opposed to Neversoft’s obsession with box-sales and their spotty track record in regards to DLC.

Regardless, the net result is that I don’t feel compelled to buy games I don’t believe in because I’ve found other things to do with my time. I haven’t even considered purchasing Spore. I’m pleased with this self righteous stance, because voting with your wallet is the only way to influence a free market. And while one man might not make a difference, no men will make even less. And let’s not even talk about the impact women have, I can’t believe we let them out of the house, let alone on Xbox Live.

18 Comments

  1. SpyderMayhem said on December 24, 2008:

    GH:WT is like a time machine harkening back to the days of Mediocre. Rock Band 2’s Tour mode, menus, character creation and DLC is so much more streamlined than GH:WT’s that it has made World Tour almost unplayable for me and my family. It is clear that Harmonix looked at what doesn’t work in both their chain and their competitors, but Neversoft is pretending that other games do not exist. Neversoft’s interface would have been clunky but okay in the time before Rock Band 2, but as it was released at around the same time, the flaws are unforgivable. Just getting to the songs drives me nuts.

    And Firaxis is getting on my nerves, too. Sid Meier’s name is turning into a cussword in my head along the lines of “Jerry Bruckheimer” or “Nic Cage”. Thankfully, much as the rest of Hollywood is sometimes capable of making better Bruckheimer films than Bruckheimer, developers like Paradox are making strategy games that can be better than Firaxis’ offerings.

  2. christian said on December 24, 2008:

    “It is clear that Harmonix looked at what doesn’t work in both their chain and their competitors”

    Rock Band 2 won’t let me unlock the setlist by playing each song in order of difficulty one time, AKA the way we did it in GH1 and 2 (and 3). Why removal of this option is considered a good thing by so many people is something I just won’t comprehend.

  3. Tyson said on December 25, 2008:

    Since we are listing off names of once awesome, now irksome developers, let me throw a few in.

    First, Maxis and the entire Sims line. Once, this company was way above everyone else in my eyes. Now after the flatlined Spore and the abandonment of a legit Simcity heir, I can safely say I am disenchanted. I have my routs and concerns about Sims 3 and I don’t think I am going to get it and by doing so, commit my money to $300 in the expansions that will follow.

    Ok that was just one name but I am tired and Santa won’t come if I am not asleep.

  4. Tyson said on December 25, 2008:

    Err…”routs” is supposed to be “doubts”. Stupid iPhone auto correction.

  5. christian said on December 25, 2008:

    How’s the iPhone version of sPore.

  6. Tyson said on December 25, 2008:

    The pc version was mediocre enough to keep me from even glancing at the iPhone app.

  7. Spyder Mayhem said on December 26, 2008:

    “Rock Band 2 won’t let me unlock the setlist by playing each song in order of difficulty one time, AKA the way we did it in GH1 and 2 (and 3). Why removal of this option is considered a good thing by so many people is something I just won’t comprehend.”

    Because it means that I can actually get all of the way to the end of Rock Band 2 without playing some of the songs I don’t like. I hate Speed Metal. I’ve made it to the end of RB2 without playing any of it. I like that idea. No Mastadon, no Dream Theater, no whatever else is there. I am not looking to the heavens and screaming forth cuss words about “Raining Blood” or that godawful Slipknot song from GH 3.

    Please note that the speed metal songs are unlocked in case my friends want to play them just by being on my tour map, but I don’t have to and that makes me happy.

  8. christian said on December 26, 2008:

    But it also means I have to play stuff like “Spirit in the sky” or whatever the hell it is called five times before I get onto something interesting.

    The old way doesn’t have to be the only way, but it should be an option. Harmonix won’t add it because they’re deathly afraid of doing anything that they thought of three years ago.

  9. SpyderMayhem said on January 7, 2009:

    But why would you have to play it five times? You can get all the way to the end of the career mode without doing almost any of the “Random Song” tasks. If you have any DLC or even just the song list from Rock Band 1, your chances of playing it more than once drops. By merely creating your own playlists you can unlock the different venues without even having to touch the random song picker for the most part. I don’t really remember feeling forced to play the random song tasks at any time during my journey to the end. I did it a few times because I wanted to, but I never felt like I had to. Maybe I misremember. Maybe it appears a lot in the Challenges, which I haven’t done a whole lot of as I like to rock out in bite-sized chunks and try to avoid the epic seven song lists.

    Also, “Spirit in the Sky” is awesome.

  10. jay said on January 7, 2009:

    SpyderMayhem may have a point, but not about Spirit in the Sky.

  11. SpyderMayhem said on January 7, 2009:

    It is one of the most awesome guitar parts ever written, and I will have none of this sullying of its good name.

    Also, the drum part is fun to play.

    Why the no love?

  12. GJ said on January 8, 2009:

    Because Jay rejects the spirit in the sky (Jeebus AND the flying spaghetti monster). If the song was renamed “I’m an angry atheist” he’d love it.

  13. SpyderMayhem said on January 8, 2009:

    But that is the magic of the song, it is in fact making fun of the love of Jeebus. Are there people who don’t get that part?

    From Wikipedia The Source of Truth:

    [Norman Greenbaum] was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner on TV singing a gospel song. Greenbaum later said : “I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do that,’ knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.”[1] “Spirit in the Sky” contains lyrics about the afterlife, making several references to Jesus. However, Greenbaum, who identifies himself as Jewish, stated that he had no particular religious intentions with the song.

    Indeed, when a person of the Jewish faith writes a song that includes the lyrics below, there may in fact be some tongue-in-cheekness involved. A lot of it, in fact.

    Never been a sinner I never sinned
    I got a friend in Jesus
    So you know that when I die
    He’s gonna set me up with
    The spirit in the sky

  14. christian said on January 8, 2009:

    Spyermayhem – there is a distinct difference between “aweomse guitar part to listen to”, “awesome guitar part to play on a six string”, and “awesome guitar part to play in Rock Band”. I’d say it gets two out of three, and the one it is missing is the most important.

  15. SpyderMayhem said on January 8, 2009:

    Bullhonkey. It is accessible at easier levels, and fun on the harder ones. It isn’t a showcase song where GH nerds can instantly go online and brag about perfecting it, but the slight pauses and shifts in speed and rhythm allow for some showboating.

    I’d say it is a great party song, but for those toiling away alone at plastic guitar immortality, it probably is not much fun. And it has nothing on “So Whatcha Want,” which was the first gold record song I ever got as I nominally sang and nominally played guitar at the same time.

    PROTIP: For maximum suffering, cue up “So Whatcha Want” and “E-Pro” back-to-back and watch your drummer commit suicide! E-Pro’s drum track is just a sample from said Beastie Boys song!

  16. SpyderMayhem said on January 8, 2009:
  17. Tyson said on January 8, 2009:

    That was a fun string of songs! I am still a fan of my hardcore cover of “One Step Closer”. Not to toot my own horn but I made that song moving.

  18. SpyderMayhem said on January 8, 2009:

    You really did.

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