Xbox is Crack, SNK breaks out the catalog, and Counter-Strike deemed not Brazilian friendly? – Welcome to the column that keeps living in the past as long as it can keep making money in the future known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. My new router is going pretty well. Speed has picked up a good deal, however I still feel the pain when I’m doing something at peak hours. WoW is much improved as is the Xbox Live Marketplace. I actually sat down to play a little WoW even though Guild Wars is still my choice of poison. I have a level 11 Troll Rogue(Lantanador/ server: Killrogg if you want to look it up), thanks for asking. I still like my Guild Wars, but I can understand why some WoW players are paying their monthly tithe to play their characters. It’s very addicting, thankfully I’ve learned to control myself due to years of gaming and realizing that each game, while maybe fun isn’t the cure to living a rich and full life. Unless that game is the original Metroid or Legend of Zelda. I lived on those.
Oooooo, the classic little red dress. Or should that be the classic little black dress? Or perhaps nobody really cares about what I’m saying and still staring at our fair Morgan. I mean I could be denouncing civil liberties as we know it or declaring that strawberry is the new vanilla. Which I really wouldn’t do, because we all know that strawberry rules, and vanilla is just vanilla.
Brazil this week imposed a ban on popular role-playing computer games “Counter-Strike” and “EverQuest,” claiming they incited violence and were “harmful to consumers’ health.”
The federal prohibition on the sale of the games was being applied across the country, the official consumer protection agency in the central state of Goias said on its website Thursday.
Both games allow players, typically teenage boys, to connect online to fantasy worlds where they interact with other players, form groups and carry out joint missions usually involving combat.
“Counter-Strike,” a first-person-view shoot-’em-upper based on the motor powering the popular “Half-Life” game, requires participants to choose a role as either a masked terrorist or an anti-terrorist officer before going forth with an ever-sophisticated array of weapons.
An adapted version in Brazil permitted players to take on the perspective of either a police officer or a narcotrafficker in Rio de Janeiro’s infamously crime-ridden slums.
“EverQuest” is a swords-and-spells game in the mold of “Lord of the Rings” in which human or elvish or other imaginary characters go on joint adventures to gain treasure and increase their avatar’s abilities.
Both began in 1999 and have since developed huge worldwide followings.
Some psychologists have described them as addictive as drugs. A few players have turned professional, earning money from powerful characters they sell, or from the auction of hard-to-win virtual items.
The ban was ordered in October 2007 by a Brazilian federal court, but was not immediately implemented.
The judge, Carlos Alberto Simoes, ruled that the games encouraged “the subversion of public order, were an attack against the democratic state and the law and against public security.”
Counter-Strike and EverQuest? I know people still play Counter-Strike but EverQuest? Since when did fighting dragons become a bad thing? I never have understood why government, especially foreign ones think they know what is best for their people. But I guess that goes back to the whole democracy thing, doesn’t it? I mean I guess they saw Counter-Strike as a threat to their drug trafficking with the popular adapted version mentioned. Can’t have game players aspire to be future law enforcement officials. But the whole idea to ban games that were released nearly eight years ago makes little sense. I suspect that COD4 & World of Warcraft will be next on the to-ban list in about…8 years.
SNK is set to release a compilation disc titled SNK Arcade Classics: Volume 1 in the first half of this year for the PSP and the PS2. The collection contains quite a number of their famous fighters mixed in with some sports games and NeoGeo titles from their large library. Make the jump to check out all sixteen titles!
• Metal Slug
• Magician Lord
• King of Fighters ’94
• King of the Monsters
• Samurai Showdown
• Art of Fighting
• World Heroes
• Fatal Fury
• Last Resort
• Top Hunter
• Burning Fight
• Shock Troopers
• Super Sidekicks 3
• Neo Turf Masters
• Baseball Stars 2
For fans of SNK titles this is quite a gem of a collection and seeing as it’s a volume one it stands to reason there will be a volume two. One wonders what treasures they will dig up for that one.
Sengoku FTW! (I just said FTW, yeap time to scale back on WoW). This is an excellent list for any classic gamer to dive into. I can imagine that Magician Lord, Sengoku, & World Heroes will get a lot of play at my house. No Ninja Combat (a fun action/adventure romp which was one of Neo’s launch titles) though which is troubling. Hopefully they stay smart and release this for the $15-$20 price points. The only troubling thing is overlap, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Metal Slug & World Heroes already appear on other compilations of their own name. However, this serves as a great introduction to what made the SNK (at one time) name so great.
Crusty Old Broad
Janice Turner is a hard working mom. She can’t constantly be watching everything her children do which includes watching TV, using the computer and listening to the iPod. One thing she can control apparently is how often her kids play video games, which is never since she refuses to buy her kids any gaming consoles. As a parent, this is of course her choice and more power to her for trying to get her kids to spend some quality time playing outside with other kids and the like. My parents did the same to me with cartoons. Saturday at noon the TV went off and my brother and I went outside. Getting your kids to do anything besides intaking copious amounts of media has been a problem for parents since the invention of the radio. But, as “media” grows larger there are more distractions that make it harder for parents to get their kids away from it.
This is the subject matter that Turner tackles in her recent rant/article on The Times website. Although her article is titled “Xbox is crack for Kids” she mostly complains about general media and technology and how to (or not to) regulate “screen time” for her kids and how this is a seemingly impossible task. She saves her most venomous words for video games which she attacks with vehemence in the last paragraph:
Once, such kids would be the playground outcasts, but no longer. Mine are. Because, unlike the TV-hating parents, I refuse to buy them portable gaming consoles, Xboxes, GameCubes, PS2s. These are Satan’s Sudoku, crack cocaine of the brain. Even the crappiest cartoon or lamest soap teaches a child about character, plot, drama, humor, life. Playing videogames, children are mentally imprisoned, wired into their evil creators’ brains. And they play them – beepety-beep – on journeys, over family meals, any minute in which they find themselves unamused.
And their parents never seem to say, hey, this is the bit where you pick up a book. Or game over, kids: get an inner life.
Several Times readers were quick to come forward and refute Turner’s claims and point out that within her article she even states that “I don’t have the resolve for all this.” How can someone complain of the negative effects of media on their children when they admit that they can’t be bothered to make the effort to control it themselves? Times reader Marcus hit the nail right on the head with his comment:
Ahhh videogames. The source of all evil. Again. I’m guessing Janice you’ve never ever played one. I regulate my kids TV time very strictly – about 4 hours a week presently. But I let them play Super Mario Galaxy (as part of that time). It is a joyous, wondrous world of color and fun and inspires them to draw pictures, write stories and play ‘Mario’ outside. So what exactly is the problem with that?
The problem you have by the sounds of it, is that you are laying blame at the door of the easiest scapegoat and not your own deficiencies as a parent.
It’s the age old saga, parents complaining about something they just don’t understand and heaven knows they aren’t going to try. The whole piece just reeks of someone who discovered too late that if you are going to try and regiment your kid’s media time, it has to be done from the beginning. You can’t just decide this would be a good idea after eight to ten years and then only half heartedly try to enforce it. Just like the never ending debate over video game violence, the problem of too much media time for kids lies squarely on the doorstep of the parents. The onus, Miss Turner, is on you.
Did I miss something or did I walk through a portal that took me back to 1999-2000 timeframe? The cake is a lie. Anyhow, let me just say I appreciate that Janice Turner wants or intends for her children to have a full life, one that is just not controlled by video games. However, she takes the attitude of banning games outright from her children. Regardless if the games are a wonderful diversion and help you to learn decision making skills and hand-eye coordination, I’m just going to forbid it. Cause she simply doesn’t have a solution, she even says it. She could go on about reading a book, spending quality time with her kids but she choose to just lay the shat at videogames’ door and forget about it. Yes, video games like anything else should be monitored by a kid’s parents. Everything is good in moderation. However, the assumption that the consoles are the “Satan’s Sudoku” is pure idiocy. We all know that Sudoku is the devil of number games anyway. So to call anything the Satan’s Sudoku is strictly redundant.
I can’t seem to find a release for XBLA this week. However, the decision was to make Undertow the free release for the pain and anguish you experienced during the holidays due to Live outages. It will be available for download from Wednesday up until Sunday for free. Meh. Most of you know how I loathe underwater games to begin with. Two places I never want to be is the Middle East and underwater. Good thing the Middle East is desert. However this game while a little quirky is a decent fast paced action shooter with up to sixteen players in multiplayer goodness. I hope it is good because like most I’m willing to give it a try. An important note, but if you already have Undertow, call Xbox customer service and they will be able to help you (I’m guessing refund of points).
Apparently 2 is the number this year for VC. The first title this week is that fun little blue ball with feet returns in another puzzle solving game. Fifty more puzzle rooms are included & this time around you actually get to fight King Egger. It’s harder, tougher and will be quite the challenge to complete. Like the original Lolo, the passwords were 4 characters long. If you want a ridiculous challenge, try putting in PROA, PROB, PROC, or PROD at the password screen. Have fun (good luck *roll eyes*).
Oh my, lots of fighting fans are going to love this week. SSF2 has been criticized, mainly for coming out too soon in wake of Mortal Kombat 2. However, the game gave us four new characters alongside a bevy of new color costumes and animations. The four characters are T Hawk (personally I always thought he was a bit too big screenwise for my liking), Fei Long (rip off of Bruce Lee), Dee Jay (kickboxer and very fun character) & Cammy (most fighting fan’s new wet dream). Akuma, the game’s first hidden character boss is also there should you fight well enough. Q Sound and reversals were also highlights of this excellent video game. Fight fans be sure to pick this one up.
Kawasaki Jet Ski
No More Heroes
One Piece Unlimited Adventure
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Mario and Sonic: Olympic Games
A little bit better week and saved me from renting out space to some guy named Obama or Huckabee. Burnout Paradise will attempt to redesign the wheel by totally changing their game premise to an online map scenario (sounds like Tony Hawk) where you drive to various places to have races, burning laps and funtime with crashes. I still have fun with Burnout Revenge every once in a while and unless this becomes budget, I would not imagine playing it anytime soon. (It seems like they messed with something that wasn’t broke) No More Heroes is the best Wii release for the week. If you remember correctly, Suda 51 the designers, also made Killer 7, a very fun game for the PS2. This isn’t a real sequel though very similar in style. It is a free roaming world with the main character Travis traveling by foot or by motorcycle. He has to kill ten assassins and there are also numerous side quests to gain money and weapons. Might be a lot of fun.
In addition to trying out of World of Warcraft, I am also still playing plenty of All Pro Football 2k8 for the 360. About 13 games into the season, I am still having a blast. My last effort was against a team that was 10-2 and according to the stats, one of the best teams. However, my skills have increased quite a bit and I was able to beat them 24-3. Payton got over 200 yards rushing and scored all three touchdowns. Not that I’m complaining but I guess the main thing is that the 2k series still suffers from passing problems. It’s not crazy but I usually average about 150 yards on the ground and maybe 100 passing (5 minute quarters). Any passing related achievements are going to be extremely difficult unless I play with sliders and difficulty. But like the Patriots in the coming SuperBowl, my aim is to end up 19-0 and come out on top of the All-Pro world. I hope I don’t have to replay very many games in the process :). Have fun kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)