Welcome to Reply to All, G4tv.com's new community mailbag. I'm Andrew Pfister, Senior Games Editor of G4tv.com and the captain of this particular dinghy of the site. If you've got something on your mind (not just related to games), transcribe it to electronic mail and send it to email@example.com. Who's Webmaster, you ask? Webmaster is the guy who hates you. If you have a question for a particular member of the G4 crew, we'll try to make that happen. I'll also be cruising the weekly call for Feedback questions, much like I cruised down Highway 100 in high school looking for girls. Note that this is not the only reference to high school girls in this edition.
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How do you feel about new PC games (most notably Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but also Codemaster's Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising) that are being released without dedicated server support and which instead rely on peer-to-peer matchmaking? Personally, I think that the peer-to-peer system is inferior for technical reasons that date back to the inception of dedicated servers for the PC. -- 1234
I wrote about this in a Morning Hangover last week, but the disappearance of dedicated servers is very concerning. I wouldn't go so far as to say that matchmaking is worthless, as it does have its benefits for the less-technically inclined (i.e. "press X to play game"). But in eliminating the option of dedicated servers, Infinity Ward has turned its back on the culture that made the FPS genre thrive in the first place. Remember, it wasn't until Goldeneye and Halo that console FPS games proved viable -- Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike and their related clans, user-made maps, and modified game types not only kept the community active, it fed back into the development process when a map-maker or a mod team got picked up by a bigger studio. Do we really want to suppress that? Can you imagine a LAN party or even QuakeCon ruled by peer-to-peer matchmaking?
Some people say that Nintendo has abandoned the hardcore, but something like this is a far more fitting example.
(And note to fellow media types: just because you don't care doesn't mean it isn't an issue.)
What caused X-Play and Metacritic to quit working together? I know it was a mutual agreement, but what caused it? -- ADALTON
Webmaster Says: We couldn’t come to an agreement on how they should convert our 5-star system into their 100-point system...They wanted to make it a straight mathematical conversion -- but that doesn’t take into account what we actually intended by our review system. So we chose to go separate ways, just like in the Journey song. (Now it's in your head!)
I've been looking around but, I can't the info I'm looking for. So you guys are my last hope. Do you guys have any new info on Parasite Eve 3? If so, please, I need to know if they are working on it and are going to release it here in the States. -- Jonathan
We haven't heard much about The 3rd Birthday in a while (we posted our first story about it over a year ago), and aside from the few screenshots we have of Aya Brea re-enacting the opening scene of Kill Bill, there isn't much to go on. That Square-Enix dropped "Parasite Eve" from the title tells us that there'll be some distance from the two previous games, but they've gone dark on the game. Parasite Eve wasn't much of a blockbuster in America, but it definitely had its fans, which makes an American release likely. You know, assuming they finish it in Japanese first.
This probably hasn't helped you much, but it's made me want to go back and finish Parasite Eve. So in that way, it is you who has helped me. I owe you one.
Many of us gamers endure a double standard set by the ESRB. You can see far more content in an R-rated movie than in an M-rated video game. In fact, most parents do not even understand what the ratings of the ESRB are, but they know what G, PG, PG-13 and R are. Retailers will never carry a copy of a rated "AO" game but they have no problem carrying a rated "R" movie which features far more adult themes etc. But an "M" game has to be watered down for the same creative content. I would love to know Adam Sessler's thoughts on this matter. -- Dave Walsh
Adam Sessler says: You know this was a really interesting comment. I hold the two perceptions as well but as I started to write this out, I started to question myself. The last game I know had content left out due to ESRB concerns was 2008’s Condemned 2. That’s not to say that it isn’t happening on other titles but, to be fair, I have not been left wanting by many (good) games thinking they could have effectively pushed the envelope. To the second point, I concur that there is a sense that R-rated movies tend to show scenes of more explicit sex and violence than we see in games, but in the movies it’s a singular instance, whereas in a game it would be a sequence repeated numerous times through the gameplay, and that does present a distinction in what is tolerable. Where I think Dave and I are of similar minds is the overall “Nanny-ness” of the ESRB and, for me at least, the MPAA, that the very fact that there’s an oblique organization that purports to act in our interests by holding sway over creative endeavors. Philosophically I take exception, although the practical application is far less odious.
What do you guys think of this season of The Hills? -- twistedtears
I get all of my reality show knowledge by watching The Soup. (Disclaimer: The Soup is on E!, G4's sister network and is, disclaimer, hilarious.) All I can tell you is that I really want to start wearing an obnoxious cowboy hat to work. And everywhere else.
"That's the problem."
You said to ask anything on your post "We Want to Read Your Mail." So here is a question not related to gaming. Why do my parents dislike my new girlfriend without getting to know her because she is younger then me? -- XC
You're leaving out a key detail here, XC, and its omission kind of makes me think I already know why your parents disapprove of your special lady. But I'll consult the spreadsheet.
If both of you are over 18, and the age difference is…
…5 years or less: Green light.
…between 5 and 15 years: Unorthodox (and 15 is pushing it), but love conquers all.
…between 15 and 40 years: Except for that. While in this age range, prowling for younger girls makes you a creep, and leaving someone for a younger girl makes you an a-hole.
…40 years or more: The closer you get to retirement age, the more you can get away with in life. Just don't expect people to take you seriously. (And keep an eye on your savings account.)
If both of you are under 18:
The spreadsheet can't process the volatility of teenage romance. Just realize that the four-year difference between freshman and senior isn't the same thing as the four-year difference between, say, 27 and 31. Unless, of course…
If you're over 18 and she's not: It's not just your parents you need to worry about.
Is Activision trying to rip us off? -- Charlie Frank
Activision is a publicly-traded corporation that needs to be profitable every quarter. Let's leave it at that.
F7 Letter of the Week
hey im pretty exited about the facebook bar that is going to be in the x box dashboard.
i was wondering if through this new feature you can know all your facebook freinds gammertags that they set up using the same email and befreind em.
also i wanted know whats the best game to ask for this upcoming chrismas. in the xbox 360 genre.
thanks a bunch
-- Skylar Belt
The passage of time since you sent this letter has hopefully resolved the first part of your question, Skylar. (Answer: yes, yes you can.)
As far as best game in the Xbox 360 genre…I would have to go with either shooter or racer. You'll be happy with both.
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