Nintendo's policies are finally pissing me off in a real way. I'm a massive fan of the DS, because I really enjoy portable systems more than traditional consoles. The PSP doesn't have as many games that I'm interested in (not that I'm a Dr. Pony Princess Mama's Sudoku Trainer-addict either.) In addition, Nintendo's focus on platform flexibility over raw power tends to yield some nice, novel games (they can support this because they are among the very best of developers in the gaming market.)
Here's the part where I prove I'm not a fanboy in the worst sense of the term. For a long time I lived with the stupid friend code system without complaint. I agreed that it was stupid, but always felt that it wasn't that bad--it's a relatively effective means of securing the platform against online interpersonal abuse, if only because nobody is going to play online with others.
It didn't bother me for a long time because I usually use ad hoc when playing with others. Mario Kart, while still fun across the globe, is waaaay better with a room full of
penises people. To me, it wasn't that bad, and I was willing to be matched up with random people for most internet play, when I'd even bother. For most games, who cares?
Phantasy Star Zero is being released soon, which will almost certainly get more play from me than anything else. Phantasy Star is the only online-oriented game series that I really care much about. This one contains some interesting modifications, including the inevitable: graphical chat system. One of the changes, however, is that there is no lobby. This is because Nintendo won't let you play with anyone specific on their network without first having their friend code, when using the free online service, which PS:0 does.
I've heard there's no such policy requirement for the games that use the Pay to Play service, which kind of makes sense. However, online subscriptions for portables just don't sit well with me and Sega made the right choice, for once. Unfortunately, even though PS:0 is not technically an MMO, the lobbies are more or less integral to the experience, so outside of combat the game is quite like an MMO in that regard. If you play WoW, imagine being separated from everyone while not in combat, and if you didn't have a special number associated with each of your party members you'd be matched up with random people every time you enter combat.
I'm willing to bet you wouldn't, nor would anyone, be playing WoW at this point if that's how it worked. PSO doesn't need it quite that bad, but it's still a major problem that Nintendo really ought to be solving somehow.
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