Sunday, February 15, 2009

Random Blog: N-Gage: What could have been

When the N-Gage was announced in ’03, there was very little buzz around it. Gamers were unsure of what they thought of a gaming telephone, and anyone who wasn’t a gamer sure as hell wasn’t going to buy one. Well of course not, it looked like a freakin’ taco.
Recently Nokia "moved" the N-Gage to a series of phones. Basically meaning they withdrew support and decided they would put ARM processors into new phones.
What went wrong with the entire thing is
  1. The price. $300 for a phone that played games that looked like they were below PS1-quality.
  2. It was easily outsold by the GBA.
  3. In order to change the game you had to open the back of the deck and change out game cards.

The latter was changed with the introduction of the N-Gage QD: there was a side slot to easily change games. The graphical problems continued since the games were still low-quality.

Sure, the N-Gage could do a lot of things: play games, browse the web, make phone calls, play mp3s, etc., but what did it matter if the games sucked? That’s all that gamers were looking for and that's what most of the advertising went towards. And with the promise of the release of the Playstation Portable and the Nintendo DS, what reason was there to get one?
The N-Gage could have succeeded if it had waited 2 or 3 years. They could have taken a lot from other devices, such as the iPod, with the touch-sensitivity, a touch-screen like the DS, and media compatibility like the PSP.

If they had made it a sliding phone, the above would have been possible. I’ve used the Nvidia Tegra as an example, meaning I just drew on the thing to show you what imagine it could have been.
KEEP IN MIND: THIS IS THE NVIDIA TEGRA, NOT SOMETHING DRAWN BY ME, I’ve only drawn on the imagine. Even then, I'm sure this is a prototype image.

As you can see the N-Gage could have worked, the media-type could have been games DLed to the memory stick, DLed wirelessly, or bought in a store.
The two circles represent control stick areas, this is where the iPod touch-sensitivty comes into play. During game play the numbers and letters fade and the rings light up representing the touch areas. It has standard 4-buttons and shoulders buttons like on a console controller, as well as Start and Select. The Alt keys are replaced by start and select buttons. As for the screen to be touch-compatible, I'm sure that would jack the price up by about $50-$100.

If they had only waited, the N-Gage might have survived.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Aaron Stone

All I can say is "It's OWN, NOT PONE!"

I expected more video game references but with ones like above being mentioned its hard to take it seriously.

I know I'm sounding harsh, but at least they're trying. Hero Rising is a real game but still in beta. If its anything like in the show I'll pass.
What got to me was the the first scene with the main character Charlie: he plays basketball so what good is that going to do him when he's fighting off a small horde of nameless thugs. What also bugged me when near the beginning of the show was when the character Charlie was free running and grinding a rail from a jacked skateboard. I can understand this being a show of his physical prowess but it's too much in a short amount of time.
The camera work is too fast when the action happens. I wish there were more wide-angle shots rather than split-second hit moments.

Some part of me wishes there were REAL video game references. Like something about Atari, or at one point Charlie yells "Hadouken!" when he's shooting off his laser. I understand copyrights and all that but I'm just saying, that would keep me more interested.

But bad points aside the show is worth watching. I know I'm being hard on the pilot episode(s)(the first part was on Disney and the second part was on Disney XD), and I'm hoping for more in the future: a deep storyline, new characters, new weapons, and a new miniboss instead of SoulTaker. Whenever that guy speaks it looks like his voice is being dubbed over.

Oh and more LIFE, they all seemed like they were halfa$$ing it because it was the pilot.

Monday, February 9, 2009


One thing that has interested me lately is the Quake Live beta. Not because its free, well maybe, but it's completely browser-based and is a fully-actualized, stat-counted, kill-tracking, return of what competitive gaming is supposed to be. It's Quake 3 in an internet browser.
Another game that I've been playing is Cartoon Network's FusionFall. I know what you're thinking: "Why would you play a childish game like that?" My response is the old adage: "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it." The fusion aspect is not so much a fusion in the storyline, but a fusion of generations. In the game you'll come across an older Dexter, later on you'll meet Ben from Ben 10. It's a fusion between old and new. A perfect meeting in the middle and most of all its just fun to play.
I've been hearing a lot about Battlefield Heroes, but so far I'm just not excited for it. Another browser-based game set to the tune of a brand new game engine, BFH is either loved or hated: loved because of the "free to play" aspect and hated because it resembles a cartoon. If some people nitpick so much about a game then why do they play them at all?
I don't see browser-based gaming as becoming "the future of gaming," but I do see these games becoming more recognized as the pioneers who started the whole revolution. There will definitely be more in the future, and as long as none of them are JRPGs, they will succeed.
I like these games since you don't have to listen to the 12-year-olds with foul mouths every server. Its just smack talk in text that you can simply ignore, even block. It offers the same amount of anonymity that the consoles offer.

(I know this is a bad first, or second, blog but I don't really have a lot of time behind me to think about what I want to write. It's noisy and I write best at night when no one's around. I'm not the most articulate writer, I'll be the first to admit it. As long as one person reads it and finds out a bit more, then I feel better. Also this keyboard needs some serious cleaning.)

I'm done. I seriously can't think. I feel like I'm being rushed for no reason.

What to expect from me

I have a lot of thoughts of video gaming: casual, hardcore, and professional. I have thoughts on the IT world, the business end of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, AMD, ATI, Nvidia, etc. I have thoughts on where these people, companies, products, and technologies are going. I also have thoughts on the past: Atari, Dreamcast, AOL, etc.

And I will post my thoughts on them whenever I get my mind clear. Unlike right now.


That is all. :)