The Slim Opinion: A roundtable discussion on hot gaming topics

With a couple of gaming events coming to a close, our TSO (The Slim Opinion) squad takes on five questions that certainly bring interesting answers. No thoughts will be held back, and the fanboy in all of us may come out of its shell. Will a definitive answer be found? Only time will tell.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3?

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, For me this one ends up being a tie. As a huge Call of Duty fan I’m obviously looking forward to MW3, even if it does look like just more of the same. Even with this fact though, COD still remains as the only multiplayer that I’ve ever found I can play for hours upon hours. With that being said, I will admit that Battlefield 3 looks like one of the most amazing shooters I have ever seen in my life. Everything about it from graphics to gameplay looks stellar. The multiplayer especially looks like it could potentially revolutionize the realm of the online shooter.

So in the end I have to call a tie. I think Battlefield 3 will end up being the better game, but Call of Duty won me over to its ranks long ago and my excitement for the series hasn’t diminished at all.

Justin Arnott “SirUltimos”, Are we talking sales wise, or which we think will be better? Sales wise, Modern Warfare 3 without a doubt, and I agree that it will probably set records. Quality, I’m leaning towards Battlefield 3. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a big fan of the Modern Warfare series, but have you seen those Battlefield trailers? Hot damn!

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, What we’ve seen of Modern Warfare 3 so far looks a bit samey. It’s still impressive chaos. But so was the one before that, and the one before that. At this point, the franchise seems to have lost a lot of the goodwill built up over the years because people are simply tired of it. There’s also genuine hope from many gamers that Battlefield will outsell it this go-round. And to put it simply, while Modern Warfare 3 showcases those dependable war-torn visuals you’re used to, Battlefield 3 looks sexually good.

Having said that, these three facts remain:

1. Modern Warfare 3 will still make obscene amounts of cash.
2. I’m going to buy it on release day.
3. So are you.

Call it depressing. Call it realistic. You know I’m right.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad: I personally think I have a slightly different view on these games than most gamers, I have never really gotten into the Battlefield scene and I only recently played through the Call of Duty franchise find out what the “epic and engaging story” was all about and frankly wouldn’t touch the multiplayer anywhere outside of a private LAN party.

In terms of sales figures however, it’s clear that Modern Warfare 3 is once again going to break world records and smash industry standards for Most Games Sold in XX Hours and we can all see the massive PR machine driving Modern Warfare 3 so we can all safely assume that Call of Duty will remain sat on its solid gold throne with its jewel encrusted crown.

Personally, I would like Call of Duty to take a back seat for once, wake Activision up to their constant strip-mining of franchises and make them realize that you can’t just re-release the same game 16 times in one year. I wouldn’t want the Call of Duty franchise to die like the Guitar Hero series because frankly, it’s a very good action game and a staple of most LAN parties.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, Battlefield 3. MW3 will probably have better sales numbers, purely because of its name, but up until now Activision really hasn’t announced or shown anything to get me excited. EA on the other hand is really pushing the details out there. BF3 has been demoed on PS3, shown three different modes, and the limited edition is the same price as a regular new release game.

Can Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D save the 3DS?

snake eater
Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, No not at all. I don’t think the Metal Gear Solid series carries enough weight for it to single-handedly save a system. MGS 3 remains one of my favorite games of all time to this day, but unfortunately it is an older game.

Snake Eater 3D won’t be new, we know what we’re getting with it and that fact may stop a lot of people from picking the game up, because they will feel like they have already played it. I don’t think the 3DS is over and done with though, it’s still a great handheld with a lot of potential. If there is a game that’s going to save it though it’s not going to be Metal Gear Solid.

Luckily Nintendo has an impressive lineup of first party games coming our way. Mario Kart 7, Super Mario Land 3D, Kid Icarus, Star Fox, Luigis Mansion 2, and the eventual next Zelda game on 3DS are all games I plan on buying.

Justin Arnott “SirUltimos”, This question implies that the 3DS needs saving, which I’d argue is not the case at all. But assuming for a second that it does need saving, MGS will not be the game to do it. That honour belongs to the one-two punch of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. Metal Gear Solid would have been a heavy hitter were it not announced that it’s being remastered as part of a PS3 collection, which will both be a better remastering and reach a larger audience.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, Hell no.

What, you want more?

Nintendo’s panic price drop says all you need to know about where the 3DS is headed if people don’t start buying it. The Atari Lynx, Nokia N-Gage and Gizmondo better warm a seat at the Console Retirement Home. The 3DS may be along real soon.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad: Sadly, I doubt it, personally, re-releasing a game on a handheld device where some of the cut-scenes might last longer than your battery is not going to help matters for the 3DS. Personally, I think Nintendo needs to concentrate on what made Nintendo great, innovation. They have always taken ‘not quite latest’ technology and managed to do something amazing with it, the Wii, Wii sports, the Wii Balance Board, Wii Motion Plus that kind of thing.

If Nintendo starts to really concentrate on what makes Nintendo, Nintendo, then they may just salvage something from the frankly poorly marketed 3DS.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, Nope. Another 3D re-release on the new console without any new games hasn’t worked so far and will continue to only appeal to a small corner of the market. If Nintendo can pump a few new IP’s onto the handheld before it is considered a complete failure, the 3DS might not sink like the PSP Go.

Can Star Wars: The Old Republic redefine the MMO?

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, I think it has a hell of a shot at doing so. If there’s one thing that MMO’s have always lacked it been a cohesive story. Sure a lot of MMO’s have a great world and lore around them but a core story has always been nearly nonexistent.

It seems like a sure fit then for the masters of storytelling Bioware to make an MMO. If there’s one thing they know how to do its make an engrossing story and overall experience. From what I’ve seen of The Old Republic it looks like it has great game play, great story, great setting, great sound, it looks all around fantastic.

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever been this excited for an MMO in my life. Time will tell if it actually happens, but in my opinion The Old Republic looks like it could finally be that WOW killer, or at least some serious competition for it. Just look at those pre-order numbers after all.

Justin Arnott “SirUltimos”, No, but it also doesn’t need to. Rather than redefine the MMO genre, the aim of The Old Republic is to perfect it. It has a lot of great ideas in it and EA is committed to putting a lot of their weight behind it. Not to mention that Bioware is a world-class developer that pours their heart and soul into each and every one of their projects.

Reports from people in the beta say that The Old Republic plays like a natural evolution of WoW with a Star Wars coat, which is frankly all it needs to be.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, Redefine is a heavy word that comes with a lot of responsibility. The iPhone redefined what a mobile phone should be capable of and spawned a host of copycats. The Wii redefined gaming control and its two main rivals followed suite. Can you see The Old Republic doing the same for MMO’s? Thought not.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad: I’m not a huge player of MMORPG’s I’ll get that out of the way first. I used to play a lot of Guild Wars and have seen more than enough footage of World of Warcraft to know I don’t really want to take part but can Star Wars: TOR *redefine*the MMO? I certainly hope not, because I feel that by definition the people who play MMO’s are the kind of people who enjoy grinding for ingredients for that certain potion, or going and killing 500 goblins for enough Goblin Spit to help create that exceptional cloak you’ve been working on for weeks.

I had the fortune of speaking to someone at Blizzard once and they told me that one of the reasons World of Warcraft succeeds isn’t because they create new items that are better than your current gear, it’s because they create items which you sometimes can’t use yet and whilst I may be using a bit of artistic license with that quote I think the message is clear, if Bioware strays too far from the tried and tested MMO road, they’re likely to alienate their key demographic. If they stick too rigidly to the WoW mantra then they risk being labeled as a World of Warcraft clone.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, Not likely. It will enjoy mediocre success and appeal to fans of the franchise, but it will ultimately struggle to compete with the MMO giants like WoW, Rift, and Eve Online in the pay-to-play lineup. DC Universe Online tried to enter the MMO marketplace and suffers the same fate as SWTOR will endure once it launches.

Which game will claim the top spot this fall?

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, In terms of sales, I think we all know that Modern Warfare 3 will claim that position. But in terms of the best game of the fall, we have one great match up to watch. I think the battle for the top will be primarily among Battlefield 3, Skyrim, and Assassins Creed, with Uncharted 3 potentially making its way into the battle as well.

From everything I’ve seen at this point, I must say that Skyrim looks like the best of the bunch at the moment, and there’s no doubt that the hype wagon around it is gigantic. I personally am most excited about Assassins Creed because of the story, and the questions I’m dying to have answered about it.

When the dust settles though I have to say that Skyrim will come out on the top, Bethesda knows how to make a damn good RPG and I can’t wait to spend another couple of months locked away in my room absorbed in the world of Tamriel.

Justin Arnott “SirUltimos”, Modern Warfare 3.

The battle for second place will be the more interesting race. In the jam packed holiday season, I’m leaning towards either Skyrim or Battlefield 3 to be the runner up. Although personally, I’d love to see Uncharted 3 get the attention it deserves.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, If we’re talking sales, see my answer to question one. If we’re talking critical acclaim, I’m going to
stick my neck out and say Batman: Arkham City. Forget the fact that Arkham Asylum was one of the best games of 2009, I’m just a massive Batman fan. I’m wearing my cape and cowl right now. Seriously.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad: Again, if we are talking about cold, hard sales figured then my money is on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 but thinking about all the games that are due for release this fall, I feel that the one that will leave that lasting impression has to be The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The sheer size and details in that game world will clearly make it one of the most memorable experiences for any gamer this year.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, Modern Warfare 3 will enjoy the best sales numbers. People see a new Call of Duty, they buy it without thought or question. Uncharted 3 will be the game to beat for Game of the Year awards. U2: Among Thieves had nearly perfected the series with the addition of the co-op and multiplayer modes, and Drake’s Deception is set to make PS3 owners feel like no other console matters.

Will the PS Vita outsell the 3DS in its first 6 months?

Hayes Madsen “Uber Popsicle/Solfleet”, My answer to this is a resounding yes. The Playstation Vita clearly has more power than the 3DS, and with all the features Sony is cramming in Vita is poised to be a runaway hit. When you couple that with the incredibly reasonable $250 and $300 price tags, I don’t see any way the Vita won’t outsell the 3DS.

I’m interested to see if Sony can provide decent game support for the system though. Vita is definitely the most beautiful handheld ever made, and its potential is great. But the only games I find myself at all excited for so far is Uncharted and Resistance. Two games aren’t enough to warrant a buy for me so I’m holding off on buying a Vita at the moment. I’m sure game support will turn out to be great though, with the huge stable of exclusives that Sony has, they’re sitting on a gold mine of content.

All it takes is for me to see a Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, God of War, Metal Gear Solid, or Sly Cooper and I’m immediately sold. Not to mention all of the other great games they have.

Justin Arnott “SirUltimos”, Not a chance. Not only does the 3DS now have the price advantage on it’s side, but the odds are stacked against the Vita from the beginning. By the time the Vita is released, the PSP will have been effectively dead in the western world for about a year and it’s still tough to say exactly how much of the portable market the iPhone has eaten up. If you’re one of those people that believe the iPhone is the main reason for the 3DS’ troubles, the PSV is going to be hit by it that much harder. Although if all the announced games do make it out for launch (or close to it) then Sony’s new handheld certainly has a fighting chance.

Not that I think the PS Vita is doomed, just that it won’t outsell the 3DS.

Kevin Moore “Dr Eagle G”, PS Vita has graphical power (close to a PS3), new features (rear touchpad anyone?) and general sexiness (the 3DS is about as sexy as a gurning competition). It also has something the 3DS sorely lacks – proper social integration. Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Skype. Just four of the apps you’ll be able to use with Sony’s handheld. The 3DS has…Streetpass. You can even use it while the console’s closed and in your pocket! Which most of the time it will be, because there aren’t any decent games for it.

Vita will easily outsell the 3DS. The more you look at how Sony is cramming the thing with new features, you more you realise that the 3DS is a DS…with 3D. I can see in 3D just by opening my eyes. And I don’t need to pay £169 to do it.

Mike Smith “Skith”, Screaming at a Joypad: My heart really wants to say no on this one but my stupid, logical brain knows that the Vita will easily outsell the 3DS in it’s first 6 months of release.

I would love for the 3DS to make a triumphant comeback, release The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask and make everyone happy but seriously, the PS Vita (are we allowed to call it the PSV yet?) is clearly being marketed as a handheld GAMES CONSOLE, nothing else. This is a serious bit of hardware which not only probably has close to the power of a PS3 inside it but actively works with the PS3 and Cloud Saving which is why it’s so popular. If Sony had come out at E3 and announced their “PSP Ultra” and shown a trailer full of games for it we would have all thought “It’s just another PSP” which is what a lot of people thought (and still think) about the Nintendo 3DS.

With all it’s features and its reasonable price tag, I don’t think the PSV (there, I used it!) has anything to worry about.

Charles D. “NoSkill McGrill”, Yes, of course! The Vita is not just another PSP with a new gimmick. The hardware is powerful, the controls are finally what gamers want, and we’re getting Trophies!