Coffee Talk #1: Does Replay Value Impact Your Gaming Purchases?

Welcome to the first edition of Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the return of Barry Allen, Chris Jericho carrying the WWE for two years running, or how awesome the NY Yankees are, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Today I want to talk about replay value. It’s mentioned in practically every videogame review you see and many critics use it as a scoring factor, but does it really have a role in your purchasing decisions? For me, it’s not really an issue when it comes time to plop down cash on a new game. It’s more of an added bonus that I enjoy after I’ve beaten a game.

Final Fantasy Tactics

Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate games that have extraordinary replay value, but that’s not why I buy (or pass) on a title. I’ll pick up every game in the Final Fantasy Tactics series because I love the world of Ivalice and the gameplay style. The fact that I’ll play it for dozens of hours after I’ve beaten it isn’t the point. That said, I completely understand that I’m not a normal customer since I get to play a ton of games for free and can be picky with the ones I buy.

My question for you on this fine Monday is whether replay value impacts your purchases. Are you more likely to buy games that you can play over and over again? Will you skip on a game because it’s not really worth playing after the initial 10 to 15 hours? Or is it a case-by-case basis? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Revealed

Michael Jackson’s single “This Is It” was released through his official site. The song kicks off a series of posthumous works from the King of Pop. Coming October 26 is an album called This Is It, a This Is It movie on October 28, and a vinyl release on November 10 (guess what it’s called).

Jackson wrote and recorded several songs that he wanted released after his death. The rumor was that he wanted to beat out Tupac in posthumous sales. (Okay, I totally made that last part up.)

Let me know what you think of the song. I need to listen to it about a dozen more times before I can form an opinion. I’m sure the single will top the charts and the album will do crazy numbers, but I’ll always prefer the Off the Wall and Thriller days.

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Mass Effect 2 Coming to PS3 According to EA Russia

There has been a lot of confusion on whether Mass Effect 2 will be heading to Sony’s PlayStation 3 console. There were heavy rumors that the game would no longer be an Xbox 360 (console) exclusive, but they were never confirmed. According to EA Russia, Mass Effect 2 will be available for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 platforms.

Mass Effect 2

I’m not fluent in Sputnik, but the site clearly says PlayStation 3. I always thought the move was inevitable ever since EA acquired BioWare. Why wouldn’t the company go multiplatform? It will be interesting to see what EA and BioWare have to say about this on Monday.

Source via Joystiq via Just Push Start

Sony Online Entertainment’s John Smedley Talks Planetside Next

Planetside Logo

The sequel to Planetside is coming and it’s called…(wait for it)…Planetside Next! Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley wrote about the game on his LiveJournal. Smed said:

To me, Planetside Next means we get a chance to take the essence of everything that was fun in Planetside and make it a lot better. Massive battles on a scale no other FPS will touch. None of this 64 player stuff. REALLY MASSIVE. With much better organization, and a tight focus on making sure the action is always going on, with awesome graphics.

Damn I love Planetside. I really do.

I was never into the game, but I have a bunch of friends that swear by it. Any of you psyched for this one? Do you think Planetside Next will make an impact? Or is it an old(er) franchise that has no place in today’s gaming world? Maybe a game like MAG is the future and Planetside is the past? Or perhaps being a sequel is enough to help it succeed. So many questions! Someone answer one or more (please!).

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Bloons for PSP Minis Video

Bloons is a PSP Minis game that looks like simple fun — exactly what I’m looking for in PSP Minis. According to YouTube user ThePspTester:

BLOONS is an exciting puzzle game based on the simple fact that popping balloons is fun!

It’s hard to argue with him/her. Watching the video makes me want to play the game.

Any of you been playing around with PSP Minis? Any recommendations?

Resistance 3 Billboard Spotted

Resistance 3 Billboard

A NeoGaf netizen posted a few photos of a Resistance 3 billboard spotted in Shreveport, Louisiana. Don’t get too excited — just because the game has a billboard doesn’t mean that it’s coming any time soon. User “nskinnear” noted:

This is a billboard in an upcoming movie called Battle: Los Angeles. Release date for the movie = early 2011. That’s when we can expect Resistance 3.

Hopefully the billboard doesn’t cause too many Insomniac fanboys to…uh…have a happiness explosion.

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Researchers Use Super Mario Bros. in Adaptive Gaming Experiment

Should videogame difficulty automatically scale to the level of the player? That’s what Julian Togelius and Georgios Yannakakis (I caught Yannakakis from a mosquito in Thailand once) from the IT University of Copenhagen believe. According to New Scientist, the pair conducted an adaptive-gaming experiment using Super Mario Bros.

For those who fret that their hard-earned money might be wasted on a dud computer game, help could soon be at hand. A new breed of game aims to suit everyone by adapting to an individual’s playing style.

To investigate the idea, the researchers altered the game Super Mario Bros, varying parameters such as the number and type of enemies and the size of gaps between platforms in response to how the players fared. The game also records a player’s moves, including how often they run and jump, and the time spent standing still.

New Super Mario Bros

Continue reading “Researchers Use Super Mario Bros. in Adaptive Gaming Experiment”

T-Mobile Sidekick Owners’ Data Vaporized

T-Mobile Sidekick Tony Hawk edition

T-Mobile Sidekick owners are screwed (it’s a technical term). According to the company, a recent “data service disruption” means that user data has gone bye bye. T-Mobile issued a statement that said:

“Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos — that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.”

That…has got to suck. While storing information on the cloud is the way many mobile operating systems are going, this little mishap might make people wary of the process.

I rely on various Google services to store personal and business information and rarely make local backups. I’m pretty sure I’d curl up in a ball and cry if my info suddenly got zapped.

Any Sidekick owners out there? How are you dealing with this situation?

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Hideo Kojima Goes to the Gym and Comments on President Obama

Hideo KojimaApparently Hideo Kojima is working out again. While he’s at the gym, the Metal Gear Solid master likes to comment on world affairs, including American President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. While Kojima’s eccentricities are well known (though certainly embellished), pumping iron appears to have taken his thoughts to a new power level. His comments on Obama are interesting and confusing…and maybe a little scary. Andriasang translated his words:

“President Obama, who declared ‘A World Without Nuclear Weapons’ in Prague, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Has the era at last started shifting?

The start of the Peace Walker plan? I hope that comes to be.

‘Peace will not walk to you’

‘You must both walk towards one another.’

From the gym.”

It’s possible that something was lost in translation. It’s also possible the Kojima’s brilliance completely flew over my head. My personal theory is that the Stairmaster has made him a bit wacky. What do you guys and gals think?

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Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime Calls Out Sony’s PSPgo

In an interview with the Washington Post, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime called out Sony’s PSPgo. The only gaming executive with laser-beam eyes said:

“I have the utmost respect for all our competitors, but it’s interesting to try and answer the consumer question of ‘What’s in it for me?’ in that product. [I have a] fundamental concept problem in terms of ‘Who’s it for?’ and ‘What’s the benefit?'”

Nintend of America President and COO Reggie Fils-AimeFils-Aime’s points are completely legitimate. While the PSPgo is a sexy piece of consumer electronics and an important gaming device in terms of what it represents for digital distribution, it’s also a poor value. Sony will sell systems to early adopters that must have the latest models ASAP (I guess this answers Fils-Aime’s question), but beyond that, $249 is a lot of money for a system that doesn’t have enough advantages over its forerunners.

All that said, early reports are that the PSPgo is selling well. It will be interesting to see if the brisk sales continue throughout this holiday season.

What do you think of Reggie’s comments? Does he have a point?

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