Spreading the Love

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This may surprise many people, but I’m not a hatemonger. I really do not like going out of the way to find something to hate in this industry. I really want to like it a lot more, but with the 11 factors I mentioned a few weeks back, it makes it way too difficult most of the time. Thankfully there are some elements that do help out. Chella has provided some good ones last week (though I still strongly disagree with her about MMOs) but now it’s my turn to speak my mind.

Here are reasons to love games and game makers.

DEVELOPERS WHO SUPPORT THEIR GAMES WITH GOOD CONSTANT DLC

It really irks me when a game comes out year after year with a new release, when it can normally be expanded with new downloadable content. Yes, I’m looking at you Call of Duty, Madden, Guitar Hero (until last year,) etc., etc., etc.

Thankfully there are some games that continue to expand their product with tons of quality DLC. We saw it from Bethesda twice: first with Oblivion and again with Fallout 3. But the true king of supporting their game has to be Harmonix. Look at what they did with Rock Band. Sure they had disc based releases with the Green Day and Beatles products, as well as Lego Rock Band, but they are still very loyal to their flagship title. To think the original Rock Band had only 58 songs, and now there are over 2,700 to choose from! Even community based songs courtesy of the Rock Band Network add to the overall experience.
But what makes this even more amazing is even after they were sold by MTV Games, Harmonix is still creating new content. Now THAT’S commitment!

EXPANSION OF GAME CONSOLE FUNCTIONALITY

To think that originally we had consoles just to play games. That’s not the case anymore since the PlayStation 2 came out and offered DVD playback. Now consoles can play music and movies via external devices, can stream movies from Netflix, television from Hulu Plus, stream ESPN 3 (on Xbox 360) and MLB.TV (on PlayStation 3.) Heck, even the Xbox 360 can access Facebook and Twitter. Keep this up, and we would not have to rely on cable or satellite for television anymore. I’ve actually considered cutting my television provider because of this!

ATTENDING LIVE GAMING EVENTS

While I may hate playing online because of all the racist/sexist comments I am much happier playing people face to face, and the best way for me to do so is during live events. Since attending my first PhillyClassic/VGXpo being able to play with fellow gamers was much more enjoyable.

And then came MAGFest, and the experience just exploded. Not only was I playing with other gamers, but also with fellow reviewers, comedians, and key personalities in the industry. Getting my butt handed to me by ScrewAttack’s Stuttering Craig will go down as one of the best experiences I ever had.

SOUNDTRACK HEAVEN!

If you have been a regular listener to GamerGeeks, you all know that I have a huge passion for game soundtracks, especially during the 8 and 16 bit eras. While it’s great to hear them in their pristine state, the evolution of remixers including Overclocked, Brentalfloss, ArmCannon, and The OneUps to name a few just prove that gaming music is here to stay. Even when a game is remade, hearing what was done to the original soundtrack, if done right (Bionic Commando Rearmed) is a welcome addition.

INDEPENDENT AND FAN BASED MASTERPIECES

Yes, I know I’m beating a dead horse with Streets of Rage Remake, but BomberGames proved how if a team is passionate about their project, the final work will turn out excellent. It’s not just the amazing remakes though, but also the hard work of fan translators that allow games we never thought would come to the States can actually be played by an English-based audience. Mother 3, Earthbound Zero, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (pre the MGS3 Subsistence bonus disc,) the Kunio-Kun series (best known for River City Ransom,) and tons more now available thanks to passionate fans and online stores such as NESReproductions.com. Good to see that fans do care where corporate does not.

RETROGAMING

The fan translations help, but so does just going back to playing the classic arcade games I grew up with as a kid. Whether it is via emulation or the actual cabinets (namely at MAGFest,) I always felt more at home with the classics. It is also quite impressive that Twin Galaxies, even to this day, is keeping track of high scores for these classics, and movies such as The King of Kong: a Fistful of Quarters is helping to return retrogaming to prominence.

GETTING PHYSICAL WITH KINECT

Ok, I admit, I don’t work out much. Aside from work I don’t get to do much physical activity. Thankfully though since I got my Kinect that has started to change because I am now able to get a decent workout while playing games. And as a former DDR player, the Kinect is turning into a decent dance game system. We’ve already seen Dance Central succeed (again, thanks to Harmonix,) and I’m looking forward to the eventual sequel when it comes out. As I said before, the Kinect has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to it being untapped.

REBOOTS THAT ARE ACTUALLY GOOD AND TRUE TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL

If a classic series is brought back and ruined, you know I will go off on it, but when it’s done right and the way how fans want it done, then I will be sure it gets the praise it deserves. Case in point, what Netherrealm Studios did with the new Mortal Kombat, a game that harkens back to when the series was at its peak (which I still say was Mortal Kombat II.) They kept the game true to its roots while providing tons of unlockable items to expand the single player gameplay and offering an excellent multiplayer experience. If only more companies would take this route instead of being bare bones. Cough, cough, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, cough.

BEING PART OF GAMEINDUSTRY.COM

And then, there is the honor of being a founding member of this site. What first started as just a source for me to write reviews on games is now a way for me to speak my mind about the industry. I never thought I’d end up writing a bi-weekly take on gaming, what I love about it, what I hate about it, and just exposing that which catches my attention.

But to think from here it would be my foothold into events such as E3, VGXpo, MAGFest, and the Rock Band Live Tour. Not to mention that it would also lead me onto newer creative ventures, such as podcasting (both the GiN Lounge and GamerGeeks) and my planned future projects of video reviews to be shown on the GamerGeeks on Demand Youtube page. Yes I am proud to be a member of this site, even with all the ridicule I get for my actions (i.e. the day I broke down a Sega PR rep.)

Now with that, I need to get back to my future plans…

Currently Playing: Portal 2 (PS3)

Waiting For: LA Noire (360, NOT A PS3 EXCLUSIVE,) Duke Nukem Forever (360)

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