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Gaming A little thing from a long time ago


Brasil
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OK, I wrote this last year sometime. I figured it'd be neat to take a look at what I was thinking back then, what I predicted would happen, and just generally, what feelings were regarding gaming.


A heated debate on online gaming.
PC Multi vs Console Multi.

Some people I've talked to believe PCs lead the pack for multiplayer. They say how PCs can support so many ppl in one game and with slim to none amounts of slowdown. And the graphical capacities are so much larger than consoles. For the most part, I agree with PC players. I've seen Counterstrike in action, and I've seen how many ppl are playing. Though Counterstrike isn't my cup of tea, I do appreciate the ingenuity of it, even though it seems futile starting then dying in a few seconds time, then being forced to wait for the round to end. It lags occasionally, too. "Lag Kill" is what my brother says. But massive multiplayer games have skyrocketed in number and popularity.

There are games for everybody it seems. Stuff ranging from Ultima Online and Everquest, to Warcraft and their RTS brethren, Counterstrike and Unreal Tournament. With the addition of audio and chat capabilities, team play becomes increasingly addictive. However, with the addition of chat over a network, comes the addition of buggy sound. So a normal command might get broken up and come out in inaudible fragments. Not the cream of the crop, most certainly. Mentioning audio commands and whatnot then brings me into consoles.

Consoles will forever be better for multiplayer gaming. Consoles and games are starting to break into the massive multiplayer gaming world with games like Halo, SOCOM: Navy Seals and Twisted Metal Black: Online. Broadband connections are being utilized more and more, and I see the console online games and system only getting better. I have heard stellar things about linking Xboxes for 16 player Halo deathmatches, and people have told me it rivals PC gaming. PS2 is beginning to use networking, as well. Check out Tribes. The Gamecube hasn't gone online quite yet, but this is fine for now. The 'Cube is by far the best multiplayer console now.

With built-in 4 player ports, and games like Smash Bros. Melee, Super Monkey Ball (1&2), Bomberman Generation, and upcoming multi's like Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, the Gamecube is poised to retake the console multiplayer gaming war. Now, make no mistake, I AM NOT A NINTENDO FANBOY. I have a great deal of respect for PS2 and Sony.

For single player games, I go to PS2. GTA III, Medal Of Honor: Frontline, The Thing and Red Faction (whose multiplayer mode, though extremely limited, was immensely entertaining). But for multiplayer, I gravitate to the 'Cube. Much like I did during the Golden Days Of N64 (which, by the way, is still amazing and brilliant) when there was GoldenEye 007 and Super Smash Bros, not to forget Mario Kart 64 and Bomberman 64, as well. Back in High School, my friends and I played N64 religiously (actually, I shouldn't say that. I'm an atheist)...we played it for hours upon hours. We first started with GoldenEye. That was our frosh year. At the end of our soph years, Smash Bros. was released, and we adopted another multiplayer game.

Some of my fondest memories are during our deathmatches. We all had character obsessions in Bond and Smash. For me, it was Oddjob and Pikachu. Scott loved Boris and Jigglypuff (When the tough get ruffed, the puff get tough?) Matt and Chris always raced me to Oddjob, but my timing was better. Chris usually played as Bond and Link in Smash. Matt, well, Matt vacillated between a few different characters in GoldenEye (I think it was Natalya, Xenia, Moonraker Elite, and Mishkin? But I'm not sure) and usually played as Fox in Smash. Out of us four in the games, I was the inhumanly good one. I could line up headshots with the Golden Gun for one shot-one kill, all while under heavy fire from KF7 Soviets.

They set me up a lot during Bond. Potty breaks would lead to 3 KF7s pointed at my head, and my health was suddenly down to one bar. But I was that good to where I killed all three of those little punks without dying. Swerving and doging. "Stop moving around, Alex!!!" Fun times. Smash was no different. Whoever was on my team won. I was deadly with a beam sword and the Home Run Bat. If I knocked you off the arena, you weren't coming back. I threw whatever I could find...capsules...swords...fans...guns (even with charges still left)...bombombs...anything. Matt got really pissed off at that. "Alex, will you stop throwing things at me?!?!?!?"

On a lesser note, Bomberman 64. The game was amazing. Setting the timer for 1 minute for the Pyramid level was one of the greatest set-ups for any game I've ever played. My friends and I were screaming at each other. It was great! And that, my friends, is the idea. That is precisely the idea. The reason consoles will thrive with multiplayer gaming, and the computer will die with multiplayer gaming, is because your opponents ARE RIGHT THERE NEXT TO YOU with consoles. Your friends (or enemies) can yell at you right in your ear, without signal interference and crackling. You can see expressions on their face as a beam sword comes hurling from the other side of the screen to smack them into oblivion. You can hear your friends' disturbing laughter as he blows away chunks of the ceiling (your floor) in an attempt to take away your sniping position. Your friends voice their disgust with your guerilla tactics and hit-and-run techniques. AND YOU CAN HEAR THEM CLEARLY!

Human interaction is the deciding factor in multiplayer. Speaking into a microphone, into the computer in effect, is dehumanizing. Sure, there are some hilarious rednecks in Counterstrike, but what's the point of listening to them when you can't understand what they're saying? I'll take 4 close human players over 16 separated-by-a-computer players anyday.

PCs are for word processing. Let's leave them for that.
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Well, those who know me know that I've never been much of a PC Gamer. I've played, what, maybe three or four PC games in my lifetime? Monopoly, Jedi Knight, Grim Fandango and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. Yes, I'm a PC veteran :p

All kidding aside, though, I've always preferred console gaming, whether it be single-player or multiplayer, because it's far more accessible for someone like me.

To play many (but not all) of the best PC games, you must continually upgrade your PC with all the latest add-ons and crap...I generally have a distaste for add-ons, so that's one strike against PCs, heh.

Also, I may be in the minority when I say that I prefer regular multiplayer more than online multiplayer. Sure, it's enjoyable to play against people from all around the world, but can online play really reproduce the feeling one gets from seeing the look on your best friends face when you kick his/her *** with Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros? I think not.

If online console gaming were more affordable, would I play it? Absolutely. You have to have something to do when friends aren't around, which is the big drawback to regular multiplayer. However, I'm not sure I'd ever prefer online over regular...the feeling is much more enjoyable when you're there to witness it (as is the trashtalk lol).
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It's rare to find a hardcore/professional gamer who prefers the PC to consoles, mind you. Haha, don't think I ever met one!

Anyway, I think that consoles were always better for multiplayer for the sole reason that you are there with the rest of the players. It's a great social thing going, where someone's always bad-mouthing someone else. It's all in good fun when you have the right friends, and all-too comedic when something silly happens.

Yeah, having internet support is great, but it'll never recreate that great "human interaction." For example, when someone does something totally unexpected or outright stupid, you would just laugh at the person, and it would be a good time for all. Online, however, you just think, "wtf?! What's that idiot thinking?" So, yeah, the major fun factor of multiplayer comes from something that ironically does not immerse you in the world of gaming.
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[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by AzureWolf [/i]
[B]It's rare to find a hardcore/professional gamer who prefers the PC to consoles, mind you. Haha, don't think I ever met one![/B][/QUOTE]

Well I can tell you they exist heh. There's a lot of them actually. The people who are always paying attention to the newest cards, comparisons, driver releases. I'd say the people I know who are PC gamers would be "hardcore" (I hate that word lol) far more than any console gamer I've met. There are fanboys for anything.

Multiplayer depends. I don't spend all that long playing games online. I just don't like playing games on my monitor, to be honest... but there are many that transcend that.
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To me, multiplayer is only fun during LAN Games, in a computer lab. Counterstrike is a cool game when you are playing with your friends, and even others.
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As a 3 year PC gamer, I have to completely disagree that PC's are lesser or inferior to console multiplayer. As you posted, it is an old piece (a year or so) so I am not sure if you are aware of the many voice communication advances that have surfaced in that time period.

These are not plugs or anything, but "comms", as they are called, have truly come a long way from the days of Battlecom and Roger Wilco. TeamSpeak 2 RC2 is a functional, user-friendly comms program which has really good quality while keeping the bandwidth usage low. Ventrillo has a far superior voice quality, but it does suck more bandwidth.

I will agree that the 4-way SSB and GoldenEye and StarFox 64 matches were some of the best I had ever had. 3 planes coming after you with the Bomb and dual lasers yet coming out on top with skill, precision, and a masterful ingenuity is fun. Extremely fun.

But, I have just as much fun with online PC games. Well, I only play one game (MW4: Mercenaries), but the community of friends I have gained over a 3 year time span is the only reason I play anymore. There is no greater feeling that going into a random server and seeing, "Hiya, Gohan!" echo throughout the chat area.

Also, from a technical standpoint, you will actually save more money by having a PC as your "console." Nowadays, you can build a top notch gaming rig for $800 or less that will last you at least five years. As an "extreme", yet feasible example, in that same five year period, 3 consoles would have been released at ~$300 a piece (more or less). So, about $900 spent on 3 consoles. Then, you have to buy a game for each console. $50 a game * 3 = $150.

Now you are at $1,050 compared for the three PC titles for the same price for a total of $950. Spread this over another 5 year period, with miscellaneous upgrades to the PC compared to the 3 MORE consoles and titles for the home gaming systems.

Please do not assume this as "bashing" of home systems. Ironically, I like my PS2 more than my current computer. It is just that there are more communities than CS out in PC land. The MW community may be a tad small when compared to CS, but we are strong and we do care for one another just as much as any of our offline friends.
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Yeah, Gohan, I haven't been keeping up on PC/Mac enhancements lately.

My brother recently started playing CS again after 2 year break. They've improved the game a lot. The voice chat is clear now, guess they upgraded their hardware and such, the game runs much more smoothly, and they streamlined the menus. It's nice to see.

I've been playing SWG a lot lately. My cousin, my brother, and I each got a copy in June. They've since cancelled their accounts, waiting for "more content," but I'm still in there (Master Doctor and building up CH, with mounts :)).

I find that my primary reason for choosing console multi over PC is similar to Shin's. Accessibility issue. I just don't have the time to configure network connections, adjust my computer's settings, etc. I've been playing SWG and that's it.

I'm strictly plug-and-play. That's why I love consoles so much--apart from direct human interaction. Hook up the AV cables, plug in the controllers, and you're good to go. Instant...gratification. (LOL...that was wrong)

Plus, I'm very...[i]vocal[/i] while I'm deathmatching. Let's just say, a hefty amount of foul language is spewed, but not only by me. My friends and I...yeah. We've called each other some things that I just can't repeat here.

You know what the clincher is for console deathmatching? Facial expressions and body language.

I was playing Melee with a few of my deathmatchers (Scott, Chris, and Matt, I believe). We were playing in Hyrule Temple and Chris and Scott were off on one side, beating the **** out of Matt. I was off on the other side of the stage, just chilling, looking for a prime opening to rack up 3 more kills (:D). The story goes, Scott and Chris nonchalantly glanced at each other with a sly look in their eyes, just did a simple nod, then both started coming after me.

That is just...the epitome of what a deathmatch should be. A situation in which the gamers are so in tune with each other, that a simple nod or eye motion, or grunt even, can synchronize 2 gamers' efforts in perfect unison.

The most beautiful thing about gaming is human interaction, regardless of platform, price, LAN speed, etc. If one has a working relationship in their deathmatches, more power to them.

Speaking of LANs, I might be doing an 8 player Double Dash LAN party this weekend...should be fun.
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  • 4 weeks later...
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by PoisonTongue [/i]
[B]That is just...the epitome of what a deathmatch should be. A situation in which the gamers are so in tune with each other, that a simple nod or eye motion, or grunt even, can synchronize 2 gamers' efforts in perfect unison.

The most beautiful thing about gaming is human interaction, regardless of platform, price, LAN speed, etc. If one has a working relationship in their deathmatches, more power to them.
[/B][/QUOTE]

I totally agree with you. I've had my share of fun deathmatches on SSBM. Many of those involved me fleeing from two Falcon Punching maniacs :D
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