NHL 11 Microtransactions, Pinball Wizards, and Kinect Does Sign Language? – Welcome to the column that is the best in the world at what it does (which is?) known as Dare to Play the Game.
I think I have Lips fever. (It is like cowbell fever but with less clanging) I’ve been playing the Lips games quite a bit. For some reason, I have flashbacks of college when all I did was visit smoky bars and sing songs. But alas, I have over 800 achievement points and now own three Lips microphones, three of the titles and a bunch of the downloadable content.
For a while, I was content on just owning the #1 hits since I bought it with a microphone for about $20. Then I wanted a second microphone, so I found the original Lips package cheap with 2 microphones. Cost me $28. But then in the craziest maneuver, I imported Lips: I Heart the 80’s from a game store in the UK. The game actually works over here but apparently Lips Party Classics (which I will own at some point) didn’t sell so well so from all indications (most of the songs have been released as DLC here in the states), it’s not coming to American shores.
The import made it to my door on Tuesday night, a little over a week from when I ordered it. Heck, I’ve had Amazon orders take more time. It did cost me retail (once you included shipping+currency exchange), but I think that’s fair considering I really like the genre and this thing isn’t going to come over any time soon (if at all). Since the achievements are grouped together under the original title, this might be the first game where I score over 1000 points.
Oh, unrelated achievement note, I finally got the last achievement in Fable II Pub Games. I’m not even going to bother telling you how long it was between the first achievement and this last one. It’s better that way.
I thought I would take the time to revisit perhaps the most loved Gamer Girl of them all. No, not Felicia Day. Though the thought did cross my mind. Morgan Webb of course. For a couple of years there, this column had nothing but Morgan Webb pictures. Then I veered off. It was partially lack of material, part boredom, part being pissed off that she had changed her hair so much (and her personality along with it). But I realized bitterness has no place when dealing with a beautiful female gamer. Praise the Morgan Webb.
Sharp-eyed DLC watchers today spotted the month-early upload of more than 90
player attribute enhancements for NHL 11, offering three tiers of created-player boosts ranging from 80 to 160 Microsoft points. Update: There are now 156 boosts on Xbox Live.
It’s further evidence of EA Sports’ aggressive microtransaction strategy, in addition to the one-use “Online Pass” code that enables multiplayer for free if you bought the retail game yourself but costs $10 if you snagged a used version.
July’s NCAA Football 11 and next week’s Madden NFL 11 all feature a menu of accelerators, principally for dynasty or franchise modes, that let you cut corners or get a leg up. They’re all for single player modes. In NHL 11’s case, these are attribute gooses for created players, probably most useful for giving you a super-rookie right out of the gate in Be a Pro mode.
I covered the ethical dilemma of using performance enhancers in sports games back in this column. MLB 10 The Show would sell you “training points” but you were free to apply them as you liked. These are direct skill increases. The DLC is available as I type this, so, I guess you can go preorder it if you want? The boosts cover attributes like “skater acceleration,” power and accuracy for two types of shots, deking and faceoff boosts, boosts for five varieties of goalie saves, and plenty more. Or, I guess, you could just drive down the game difficulty and tune up the sliders to give you that easy win, for
I wonder if EA’s strategy is just to milk you for every single penny can that they can. If there is something that they charge for, guess what they are going to. This is just another really sad idea from some EA exec who figured they could make some extra bucks. Charging for skill point boosts? Really. I’m not sure if I feel sorrier for EA or the people who actually buy these things. Actually, here is what needs to happen to both groups of people.
Yes, you deserve a beating. One for the fool who put it in place and one for the fool who purchased the powerups. Honestly, I’ve put all EA sports games that are made this year and beyond on the no way am I purchasing that crap list. I think I still have NHL2k9 around here someplace and I sure wouldn’t mind finishing up the season mode. And if I get football fever? Madden 2008. Seriously, this is going to blow up in their faces and people like 2k sports will be picking up the pieces.
Fred Bobrow, owner of the Retro Arcade Museum in Beacon, New York, might not look like a criminal to you, but he has broken Beacon Law, and paid the price. Eighteen months after opening the Retro Arcade Museum in Beacon, Bobrow was forced to shut it down, thanks to an old law on the books outlawing pinball and arcade games in the city. A fine of $1,000 a day and the threat of jail time was more than enough to have Bobrow close his doors.
I wouldn’t worry about them opening once more, however. As the CNN report indicates, many people on the Beacon city council think the Retro Arcade Museum is a good fit for the community, and actions are being taken to repeal the archaic law.
You really hate to see places like this closed down, even for a day or two. There aren’t many arcades left and even fewer of those have classic games from the 80’s and 70’s because of how hard it is to keep those in top shape. The curious question is who exactly went and found that law still existed? I mean the business had been doing fine for eighteen months and now suddenly it isn’t okay for them to be in business?
The obvious guess would be some parent who caught their child at the arcade (who was clearly trying to learn about the history of arcades) and then probably investigated the books to find something that fit their whims. Unfortunately they found it and Fred has to take the repercussions. Perhaps some adult saw the arcade and then remembered their Donkey Kong addiction and wanted to protect the innocent. It could have been a bunch of things, but I have a feeling that in good time it will be back.
Fred here is my unofficial hero. Anybody who can open an “Arcade Museum” and keep it going (even for eighteen months) is tops in my book. Dude, you are awesome.
The patent for Microsoft’s motion-sensing camera Kinect was released to the public last week, and while we knew most of the stuff contained within, I’d be lying if I said I knew the device could recognize sign language. But it does. At least, according to the patent it does (things may have changed since, we’re checking), as it says that thanks to Kinect’s ability to track hand and arm gestures, it can understand somebody signing at it in American Sign Language, and then convert it to either text or spoken word.
A neat feature! It might be totally useless to most of you, but anything that can improve the accessibility of games – and do it as seamlessly as allowing someone to sign at their TV – is a welcome step forward nonetheless.
Most welcome, actually this is the best thing to come out of Kinect yet. Considering there hasn’t been anything good about the Kinect yet until this, it wins by default. Seriously though, the Kinect does have some potential and it would do well had it come before the Wii motion or with a much cheaper buy in price. Furthermore, in most demonstrations the sucker just doesn’t seem to work very well.
Of course, people are actually talking about the Kinect. I haven’t heard a drop of information about the Playstation Move outside of people making fun of the silly lollipop. At least Microsoft tried to be different with Kinect and not give us the Xbox Glide or whatever synonym we can come up with for “Getting up off our asses”. If I wanted exercise with my video games, I’d go outside. My idea of a workout is singing twenty songs in a row.
Another week in the Summer of Arcade brings us this title. We have two teams of cloned soldiers who are bent on destroying each other’s Money Ball in this competitive sport. It’s third person shooting with specialized classes like Team Fortress 2 but in a sporty type fashion. There are several modes and a slew of classes for the player to enjoy in this game.
There is the Crossfire mode where trying to destroy each others’ Money Ball. They have to bring down the shields first before concentrating on the ball. There is also a mascot who can be found in the middle of the arena which will give you money for abilities when you shoot it. There is also the Blitz mode where you protect the Money Ball from waves of robots.
Classes include Assault (shooter class), Tank, Sniper, Support (heals+defense), Gunner and Assassin. It will be nice to see if there is some personality buried in this game and is worth the 1200 points. I’m getting a Powerball/Speedball vibe and if so it could be very fun indeed.
Seriously, it’s an aquarium game. I’m not even going to bother finding a picture of the game and give you instead a picture of a real aquarium. Aquariums were meant to be bought not simulated. Go to Petco or Petsmart, buy a darn aquarium and some fish, fish food, etc and then take care of them. It’s a simple concept and you wouldn’t have to waste Wii points to do it.
Enjoy your massage? A massage simulator? Massage people in hope of eventually becoming director of the beauty farm. Wonderful. So, are there business options to give happy endings and then have the local police bust you unless you can provide them with some protection money? Then I would be interested. Until that point, let us enjoy Morgan in her newer look. I’d like to massage her, I mean gift her this amazing simulator, yeah!
Madden NFL 11
Madden NFL 11
Madden NFL 11
Madden NFL 11
Madden NFL 11
Princess Isabella: A Witch’s Curse
7 Wonders 2
Mahjong: Journey Quest for Tikal
Guess what comes out this week? Madden. For every major system this week (and a couple of minor ones), football fever can fill our hearts. The only other title worth mentioning is Princess Isabella for the Wii which is set at a budget price and might be a pretty fun hidden object game. Which now that I look at it, might be delayed a week. I wouldn’t want to compete with Madden either.
You might have noticed that the column this week is a bit untraditional. I threw in random pictures, thoughts and I didn’t even take the effort to really talk about WiiWare. Of course, my main problem with WiiWare lately is that there are no VC games and what was once the best thing about the Wii is now almost totally forgotten. I also spotlighted the Xbox game of the week because it was the first game I’ve seen in the Summer of Arcade that I think might actually be worth the 1200 points.
It is unfortunately that in deep regret to tell you that this column is going on hiatus for an unspecified amount of time. I recently lost my job of seven and a half years (I’m not asking for money but I will take Microsoft and Wii point donations). Truth is, in the short term I need to devote as much time as I can to putting out resumes and going to interviews. I do still plan to do dvd, blu-ray and maybe the occasional game review. However, something had to go and the column was the most time-intensive choice.
But again, this is for the short term, I do eventually plan to return to the column. I might pop in here and there for the occasional news piece or perhaps get something off my chest. There is certainly the option there and I do have a very easy going webmaster / site owner who is willing to work with my life’s issues. All I can say is we’ll be back. Dare to Play the Game will never die as long as we keep it in our hearts. Thank you kiddoes for reading and from a writer to his audience, I appreciate the heck out of you. Here is a picture of Morgan to say goodbye (but not forever).
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)