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Arnold’s Press Pause and Rewind: June 17th

Movie Licensed Games Suck!

Over the past month or so, I've reviewed a good deal of games,
most of which have been movie licensed. To be quite frank, all of
those movie licensed games were utter s**t. How's that for an
opening headline? But is there any better way to describe them?
Columns like this almost always get me in trouble, sparking angry
emails from publishers and developers, alike. But I apologize to
the aforementioned in advance…although I really shouldn't. I
mean, here's a company who's about to make millions on a game
that features little to no quality in it.

Take, for instance, Spider-Man 3; between all versions of the
game, it's probably approaching one million titles sold in just
over a month. At an average of $50 per game, Activision has just
made $50M from a title that probably had a budget of 1/10th that.
I mean it's one thing if games like Spider-Man 3 and Pirates 3
were remotely good, but they aren't. They were severely rushed
just so that they could be released alongside their movies. And
with return policies prohibiting anything but exchanges these
days, the consumer is out 50 bones for good.

I really wish that this trend in gaming can come to an end. If
this industry really wants to blur the line between
motion-pictures and interactive entertainment, then Sony,
Nintendo, and Microsoft really need to start being much more
stringent in their approval process. Spider-Man 3 could've
actually been as good as the last two games. Likewise, Pirates 3
had tons of potential, but ultimately succumbed to a poor
framerate and uninspired mission objectives. And Shrek the Third
was just about the most dated videogame I've ever played on the
PlayStation 2. Everything about it screamed 1997.

Make it stop. Just make it stop, please.

Blue screen of death? No, red ring of death!
Has anybody been following the whole Xbox 360 death rate saga?
Crazy stuff, it is. Worst of all, Microsoft doesn't really seem
to give much of a crap about it. 'Things happen' is essentially
how they're brushing off the issue, and this recent interview
where the rep wouldn't answer a single question, and if he did
answer it was something totally irrelevant. I feel bad for those
who have their X360's crap out just days after their one year
warranty expires – it's like these machines are time bombs.

Rumors are circulating with predictions pegging a over 50% defect
rate for the console, which doesn't seem to be too far fetched
considering the outcries heard from downright every game forum
I've come across. I remember when Sony had issues with the launch
PlayStation 2 units, but those systems didn't crap out until
years after their productions and the scale still wasn't nearly
as bad (my launch unit still runs flawlessly). X360's are dying
on people within months, weeks and even days. That's completely
unacceptable and it's astonishing that the build quality of the
system has yet to be corrected and improved.

I do have access to an X360, and I really like the console quite
a bit. But the widespread defect rate has kept me away from
purchasing my own, despite the temptations. I wanted to get an
X360 Elite two weeks ago, but then I started hearing stories of
defective Elite units and yet again I held off. I also find
myself surprised at how well built the PlayStation 3 is. It's
whisper quite and I seldom hear issues in regards to defects,
which really goes to show the quality of the machine.

Sometimes I think the PS3 may be too quiet. It's so quiet that I
often forget that I have it running. I frequently wake up, walk
into my office only to find that I had left the PS3 running after
a night's worth of Warhawk or Resistance. It's happened twice
this week alone. But hey, people run Folding@Home for days on end
with their PS3's showing no ill systems. And what about that
infrastructure company who said they'd give away a PS3 if someone
could hack it? They left that PS3 powered on for a whole three
months – amazing. The PS3's gone through some really rigorous
tests from the public, and it keeps on trucking. Let's hope the
quality lasts for years to come.

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