Monday Musings 1/28/13

This is Monday Musings, my stream of consciousness column rife with rants and rambles, with nary a point in sight!  Fasten your seat belt, make sure your seat back trays are in their upright and locked position, and let's see what's festering in my mind today!

It's our inaugural week here at Short Pause, and I want to take a minute once again to thank you for taking a um.. *ahem*... short pause (the titular short pause!) out of your day to read the site.  Everyone here is excited to get the site up and running, and we're glad you could join us for the ride!...

So I know what you're thinking.  No, really.  I'm being asked the same question inside my mind by my Imaginary Friend (his name is Barry).  Our conversation is going something like:

Imaginary Friend (IF):  So, it's Tuesday.

Ben (B): Yeah, I know

IF:  So, why the hell is this thing called Monday Musings?

B:  Well, because normally this is supposed to post on Monday.

IF:  But it's Tuesday.

B:  Film at 11

IF:  Why not call it Tuesday Musings?

B:  Because it's a Monday column.

IF:  On a Tuesday.

B:  And for the love of Princess Peach, man, have you no respect for alliteration?

IF:  What happened?

B:  A little something I like to call a life-delay.

IF:  Life-delay?

B:  My life.  Delayed this post.

IF:  Clever.

So yeah, things happen.  I'm not really crazy and I don't really have an Imaginary Friend named Barry (his name's actually Sal! =))  The moral of the story is, I'll endeavor to post this column every Monday, so check back for this and other fine Short Pause readings!  Now, let's get to what's really on my mind this week...

You know Om Nom would be perfect on the Vita, right?

So the big Hullabaloo around the gaming water cooler this week has been the continued resolution/frame rate differences between multi-platform games on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.  Affectionately coined around the Internet as "Resolution-Gate," Xbox One games have been consistently running at resolutions and frame rates, at times significantly, lower than their multi-platform counterparts on the PS4.  Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition hits stores not named GameStop today, and stokes the fires of this debate perhaps more than any other game yet.  With Digital Foundry reporting the Xbox One version averaging 29.98 fps compared to the PS4's 53.36 (due to some fancy schmancy frame rate unlocking, read all about it in the Digital Foundry article), this is the largest gap, in terms of frame rate variation at least, that we have seen yet.  Add Tomb Raider to the growing list of games with performance differences between the two systems; a list that already includes Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.  I'm not one to stoke the fanboy flames, but there's got to be something to this, right?  Maybe all that talk about the PS4 being more powerful than the Xbox One wasn't all just marketing fluff?  Where there's smoke, there's fire...

Microsoft must think so too.  They're looking into this....

That $100 price difference seems a lot steeper now...

Speaking of Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition, it's finally out for those of us who didn't purchase it at GameStop, and I still don't have mine!  I never got to play the PS3 version (I know.  I know.), and this PS4 edition looks killer.  Now I play the waiting game with the UPS man...

Is that what he's called?  The UPS man?...

Affectionately coined around the Internet as “Resolution-Gate,” Xbox One games have been consistently running at resolutions and frame rates, at times significantly, lower than their multi-platform counterparts on the PS4.

I bought my copy of Tomb Raider from Best Buy Online, because I'm a member of the Gamer's Club Unlocked and I get 20% off new games every time I buy one.  This calls for a side tangent...<commencing side tangent>... <engage>... so this Gamer's Club Unlocked thing has turned out to be one of the best things I've ever purchased, at least in terms of value, maybe ever.  I bought this on a whim when God of War: Ascension came out, as Best Buy was offering a free $20 gift card for reserving the game and purchasing it as an Unlocked member.  Seeing as how signing up for the Unlocked membership was only 10 dollars, it was a no-brainer to sign up for it as I'd be making my money back, and then some, immediately.  So that was great and I took advantage of that.  But then in November, Best Buy suddenly decides they're going to change the Gamer's Club Unlocked membership, and turn it into a really premium pay service, with a two-year commitment to the program running a steep $120.  Of course, the main attraction of this new program was the 20% off new game purchases as long as you're a member.  But here's the catch: all the previous Gamer's Club Unlocked members were automatically enrolled into the new program when it began.  Yeah, us guys that spent $10 back in March to get a deal on God of War: Ascension, were essentially given free enrollment into this new premium service.  Best Buy, being the swell place that it is, decides to roll out this new program just in time for the launch of the PS4, meaning I was going to be able to snag all of these launch games for 20% off to go with my sleek new box.  While it may seem like I got lucky, and I did, this is really all a cleverly disguised ploy to get me to re-up my Gamer's Club Unlocked membership when the time  comes, shelling out 120 cool ones to keep it going.  And it worked.  I seriously can't see myself without my 20% discount on new games now.  I'll buy way more than 10 games over a two year stretch (the minimum I would have to purchase at full value to break even with my $120 enrollment fee).  $120? *weeeeeooooo**explosion*... <end side tangent>

What in the hell is this?...

Is the PS4 easier to devleop for than the Xbox One, too?  Or is Sony, at least, easier to work with than Microsoft?  I see a few games being developed for PS4 with no Xbox One version in sight.  New RPG Bound by Flame, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, and Kickstarter RPG Unsung Story come to mind...

Tomb Raider?  Lara?  Are you here yet?...

Cut the Rope, my favorite game bar none on iOS, is coming to the 3DS.  You know Om Nom would be perfect on the Vita, right?...

I'm really going to have to buy a Wii-U for Super Smash Bros., aren't I?...

I'm super addicted to Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark on Vita right now.  Picked it up again recently, and it's just so good.  Some really clever puzzles and fun mechanics based around stealth.  My quest to S-rank every stage continues...

I'm still awful at Don't Starve...

When faced with the option of purchasing a new console with last-gen specs and a giant touchpad controller that nobody quite know how to use effectively yet, or a next-generation powerhouse with a slick new controller and a strong online infrastructure, which one would you be more inclined to purchase?

A lot of insiders, analysts, and industry folk are speaking out about Nintendo and their console business, and things are not looking good for the Wii-U.  With a recently revised sales projection of 2.9 million Wii-U's for the fiscal year (down from a lofty 9 million, ouch!), the console certainly looks to be in dire straits after completing its first full year on the market.  With a slew of heavyweight games on the horizon, including Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros., sales will certainly pick up this year, although not to the degree of its console siblings at Sony and Microsoft as their new consoles begin to hit their stride.  Being a long-time gamer, Nintendo will always hold a special place in my heart, and I certainly don't like to see them do poorly.  So while their handheld business continues to thrive (the 3DS sells like gangbusters everywhere in the world), Nintendo must figure out what to do next with the Wii-U.  I think Nintendo will be content riding this year out on the basis of a strong exclusive software lineup, and maybe we begin to hear something about their next console at E3 2015.  They can't wait long, as for a few dollars more than a Wii-U costs now, you can purchase a PlayStation 4, which is upwards of ten times more powerful than the Wii-U, with all the third-party and first-party support in the world.  When faced with the option of purchasing a new console with last-gen specs and a giant touchpad controller that nobody quite knows how to use effectively yet, or a next-generation powerhouse with a slick new controller and a strong online infrastructure, which one would you be more inclined to purchase?...

And Nintendo get with the times, ok?  Stop being so damn stubborn and stuck in your ways!  Let's get a proper online network and an achievement/trophy/reward system for your home console!...

T-Minus 52 days and counting until Infamous: Second Son...

 

 

 

Monday Musings 2/3/14

Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition (PS4) vs Tomb Raider (PS3) by Brent Felsing

Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition (PS4) vs Tomb Raider (PS3) by Brent Felsing

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