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Monday, January 05, 2009

Wishlist, 2009 Edition

What would I like from a broken turkey bone this year? In some ways this is follow up to the 2008 in review post, but that is kinda the idea, right?

Nintendo to get a real friends service
I defended Nintendo's "friend code" for some time, having played some successful games with Metroid Hunters without too much peril - but you know what? No more. I've seen how Sony handles it. I've seen how Microsoft handles it. Nintendo handles it like an inbred stepchild and says it does it to protect the children.

I don't, honestly, care about the children. Especially when the children are perfectly capable of writing down the pervert's friend code off an email just as I can, so really the defense defies logic. The children are a front for Nintendo's laziness here. I played Battlefield: Bad Company with a friend without even trying. Yet as The Girl and I play Animal Crossing: City Folk the game keeps telling us how we should visit other people's places, invite people into our home and generally network the hell out the thing. Which would be fine if we knew who we knew had a Wii, had the game and might actually be online. Same goes with Civilization Revolution for the DS and Mario Kart. I'd love to jump into game with friends, but the overhead of find non-random opponents is just overbearing.

Sony to acquire better exclusive deals and DLC
The most painful part of choosing to play games like GTA IV and Fallout 3 on the PS3 is knowing that the 360 owners can look forward to proper DLC when they're done. Back in the days when DLC was largely horse armor, that wasn't so bad. Now they're adding new missions and storylines - it sucks a bit more.

From the exclusive front, I think there's a slim sliver of light. Resistance 2 has been well reviewed and Little Big Planet is just insane. It's barely a foothold for 2009, though.

Microsoft to beat the Red Rings Of Death
'Nuff said.

Revivals or sequels to the following games

X-Com: I say it every year, but this a turn-based combat's fan dream. Don't make the now continous mistake of adding any kind of real-time nonsense, just revamp the core.

Zork: Yeah, I know, every revival of Zork from old days of text adventures has been a bit of a sore. While I'd love to see an interactive fiction version, I wouldn't mind seeing Uncharted: The Great Underground Empire either.

Ultima: While Ultima Online keeps the flame lit, I'd love to see something using the console Baldur's Gate engine. In a pinch, I'll take a proper Norrath sequel as well.

Populous: A god game with next gen graphics? The whole game probably needs an overhaul, mechanic wise, but still...

Games based on the following franchises

Stargate: I know the MMO is coming out, but my hopes are slim there. I'll take a combo of Stargate and X-Com, if you will.

Princess Mononoke: Warring factions, a nature god and a ninja wolf girl? If that's not a backdrop for an excellent sandbox title, I don't know what is...

Nausicaa: Yeah, so maybe I was catching up on my Miyazaki lately. Still, this would be a flight sim I could get behind...


sterno said...

I always wished they'd release a game based on Babylon 5. That universe has a lot of depth to build stories off of and the realistic flight physics in the show could make for pretty cool game play. Frankly it'd make a good MMO environment but they'd bleed money since it's not as well known a franchise.

Winkyboy said...

I can't believe that Ultima hasn't come back off its online high horse. MMOs don't cut it for some people.

sterno said...

The big flaw I've found with most MMO's is that they place far too much emphasis on level grinding. I played PlanetSide for a little over two years because it had the massive game elements but it was largely skill based rather than level based. I mean, yeah a level 20 character had definite advantages but a skilled level one player could kill them quite readily.

The difficulty of course is that being massive and making a game skill based are somewhat incompatible. Planetside couldn't get more than about 500 people in one battle. Which is more, significantly large, rather than massive :)

Josh said...

Yeah, I think most CT readers are familiar with my stance on MMO's, basically that I don't like to be charged for games I'm not playing.

Ultima is a decently conceptualized world. I got Ultima III on the Mac and got rather addicted to just letting it be a mini-RTS setup (with combat automated). There's a core there which is still a viable franchise.

I think there was a B5 game in the works many moons ago, under exactly those principals. I could also see a Homeworld style interface that takes the physics into account.

Josh said...

Damn, now I have the Ultima theme song stuck in my head.