Consoles & On-Line Gaming: What's the urge?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Evans, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    Can somebody explain to me the strong impetus behind the drive for console gaming to go on-line? There's an excellent article on the lists of connection options 'The Big Three' are considering for their on-line games in this week's installment of Gamespotting and it just boggles my mind that anybody would want to play on-line games with a console.
    I know a lot of you enjoyed the Dreamcast, and I'd love to hear just why on-line play was so good. I've played PC games on-line for years now, and while that's a satisfying enough experience in its way, it's still not great. I mean, I'm buying a GameCube because the fun of multi-player is having four people over to just club each other senseless in SSB:M while trash talking. Not only is trash talking limp on the 'net, it's often spelt wrong too.
    On-line gaming is just soulless. Now, I'm not saying that playing against HTFers in a round of, say, Chu Chu Rocket, wouldn't be a hoot, but couldn't we all just as easily play Unreal Tournament? If I'm not playing with some of my local friends, on-line gaming tends to be irksome. All you have is obnoxious players emboldened by the anonymity of the internet, who go out of their way to make gaming miserable for others, not to mention cheat their asses off.
    This includes everything from Counter-Strike to StarCraft to Red Alert 2. If you're just looking to go on-line and play something, you're likely to end up frustrated and annoyed. It's not totally bad, I mean playing with friends who've moved away or are in other parts of the world is fun, but it feels like everybody's advocating on-line play to replace the simple pleasure of getting together in a living room somewhere. I just can't figure it out...
    Will console gaming on-line really make that big of a difference, except fewer people with keyboards? Not to mention having to fork out for some gaming service or broadband or any number of expensive solutions? Why are companies so gung-ho for something that means more hassle for them, not to mention people playing one single game over and over (Final Fantasy XI I'm looking at you!) so much that they never buy another game?
    I'm really interested to know what people's thoughts are on this, because I'm really perplexed trying to figure just what the big deal is... Thanks for all your opinions!
     
  2. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I think that online gaming is considered so great for several reasons:

    1) Its new and shiny

    2) People can take on a role (like in EverQuest) and meet other people, like in an alternate world

    3) People can have an endless array of opponents and won't be laughed at if they lose

    Other than that, I see absolutely no reason why LAN gaming and multiplayer gaming aren't being enhanced. I really would rather have my friends right there, but if I couldn't, I think online gaming against them would be a good alternative.

    When they have console online gaming with video and audio of the person you're playing, then I think it will be a little better. Either that or a way to play and type stuff without the gameplay slowing down (voice recognition would help).
     
  3. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Like any social event, it depends upon the people that you socialize with. I played Phantasy Star Online far more than I would care to admit, and it was largely due to the people. When I first started playing, it was kind of a pain. Some nice people, some jerks. It was pretty hit or miss. Soon, I found a good circle of friends, and I could always find someone I knew online. It was an average game made great by the community.

    The trick is to just find a group of friends to play with, and it will be far from soulless. Actually, I feel offline gaming is pretty soulless :/

    BTW: Something that I wish others would pick up on is Sega's creation of lobbies, where the user could hang out/meet people/etc while "in game", and not just text-based.

    -Dave
     
  4. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

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    I'd love to try online gaming some day; I still haven't. I've got a 133 with dial up, so I don't think I'll be playing online in the near future.

    I think the draws of online consoles is unlike PCs, it (in theory) should be easier to get going. No configuring or system conflicts. Although it may be different with the Xbox and its hard drive, but how can you cheat online on a GameCube? You can't hack the program or do mods (which is a downside to console online gaming).

    While playing online may have no soul, I love playing Perfect Dark co-op (I hear it is even better in Halo) and can only imagine playing with ten real people against ten real people. No AI can match that.

    jeremy
     
  5. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    It totally depends on the game...doesn't it?

    The PC is full of killer online apps and the consoles will just have to find one. It'll either do it for you or it won't.
     
  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Daytona USA was a blast online. One of the great things is that with consoles EVERYONE is on an even platform, especially with the broadband requirement many of them are having. No one has an unfair advantage.
    DC's online gaming was about as flawless as you can get with a dialup connection, and it never slowed down. Great great stuff. Daytona and PSO were fantastic. I wish Propeller Arena had come out [​IMG]
     
  7. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I've played some online games for PC (mainly Rogue Spear) and found that they got boring. They took a while to get connected and start games up and there was always some lag. I would rather play on a console with a friend or have a LAN party because then we can bad mouth eachother or work together by talking.

    At my High School, we had Team Fortress on about 20 computers in one room (all on the same LAN) and we had each one taken up by a person playing the game. It was the most fun I had had in a long time, but it set my expectations for real online play too high.
     
  8. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Of course playing with people in the same room is always ideal, but that isn't always feasible. Lan parties are special occasions for most people, and I can't remember the last time I had 4 friends around to play games. Even when I was high school, and I got together with friends to play games all the time, my Genesis 4 Way Play was hardly ever put to its full use.

    Online play can be a pain, and god knows I've grown tired of some of it's elements, but it is other living people ready to play 24/7, and if you make some online friends, it can be almost as good as playing on a LAN.

    If Microsoft can get their voice communication working, that's yet another plus.

    A game like Everquest is so popular mainly because of it's social aspect. People get to know each other and travel together. It's hardly souless.
     
  9. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    Thanks to everybody who put their two cents in, I took a very very cynical view of the issue just to see what people were thinking [​IMG].
    I'm still not a big proponent of console on-line gaming, but I've got a better picture of the reasons why people are for it.
     
  10. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I think it can end up not being soulless, but thats after extensive time and effort, which can be replaced with hours of enjoyment with a friend in the room, or even playing friends online.

    I'd much rather play a two player game with a good friend than an online game with a bunch of strangers. Though I do understand what the appeal is.
     
  11. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    I personally run a guild of 30+ members on Dark Age of Camelot (PC)and believe me, these games are not souless. I've made an innumeral amount of friends in game (some that I have even met in the real world). They are a good group of people and it can be just as enjoyable as having a friend sitting right next to you.

    (this is coming from someone that used to say he would never play a MMORPG)
     
  12. JasonK

    JasonK Supporting Actor

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    I've been playing console games online since the days of the XBAND for the SNES.

    As mentioned by others, I love gaming with people in the same room. Rubbing a victory in, trash-talking, all those 'perks' come from having someone sitting right beside you.

    Same goes for playing co-op games. It's nice having somebody to play Contra with, or Jackal.

    However, as my friends and I have all gotten older, we have less time to get together. Maybe once a week, if that. But we can play each other online more consistently.

    And like others have said, there is a sense of community with some online games. Dave, Romier, myself, Jeff, and Joel all tackled beasties in Phantasy Star Online for a while. I got my ass kicked in NBA 2K1 countless times by my buddies.

    The latest game I play online is Halo. About 10 of my friends are all hooked on the game, and some combination of us get together a few times a week to play. We see the same names on there, and while we do dish out some punishment, we get smoked often enough, too.

    This year *should* be a biggie for some other online games, mainly because the PS2 is going to start putting out online games. Twisted Metal, Gran Turismo, SOCOM SEALs (correct title?) and perhaps TimeSplitters 2 (please please please be online!!!) Final Fantasy 11 is on tap, too.

    Plus, the XBOX should have an official rollout of their online services, and the PC has some game based on some SCI-FI movie about wars in the stars that has people pumped.

    Jason
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Speaking of which, the OAR Avengers need to kick some butt again [​IMG]
     
  14. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    Well I can say NFL2K1 on Dreamcast was freaking awesome online. Unlike playing a CPU you can not really learn patterns or rely on dumb AI to win games. Each person you play may have a differant approach or skill level. There are some people that are 10 times harder to beat than the CPU on it's most difficult setting.

    Plus the online league where also a great idea (Even though most of them would fall apart from players that would drop out after getting off to an 0-3 start on the season)

    There are some drawbacks, Such as those that play cheese or quit the second they start to lose. But all in all, I would say the the online play element elevated NFL2K1 to the status of my favorite videogame of alltime.

    The fact the Sega's Dreamcast is all but dead and that none of the newer platforms has yet gone online, IMHO makes the current state of console gaming much less interesting than it was a year ago.
     

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