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Friday, December 14, 2007

SUPER Rant: An Equation Unequalled

^ Pictorial Mathematics

The ubiquitous equal sign is represented by a set of double parallel lines. That’s simple for the naked eye to interpret. But just like looking at bacteria using a microscope, it takes one a while to digest what a particular equal sign really means. The above image may seem a tad confusing. What does that equal sign mean to you? Does it mean that Offroad Extreme Special Edition costs as much as 4 pairs of Big Mac Value Meals or a Brain Age 2 game and a DS Lite Smart Case? Or would you say the quality of Offroad Extreme Special Edition is comparable to that of the Big Mac Value Meals or the DS game and DS Lite accessory? Or does that equal sign annotate that the time spent to complete the Wii game is as much as that spent to consume all 8 Big Mac Value Meals? Whatever your interpretation is, the above equal sign is used to indicate cost. In other words, an Offroad Extreme Special Edition Wii game can cost as much as (or almost as much as) 8 Big Mac Value Meals or a Brain Age 2 DS game and a DS Lite Smart Case in my country. However, the moment you interpret the above equal sign as one which has a relation to quality, the entire equation will be erroneous. Call it an equation unequalled.

I was browsing through the shelves of my local game retailer yesterday when I came across the Wii section of the store. Slotted between Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Sonic and the Secret Rings, it appeared to me as if Offroad Extreme Special Edition was placed at the wrong location. The price tag on Offroad Extreme read: $48. A check on the website of another local game retailer turned out this result: Offroad Extreme - $49. Granted, that is a budget price for a budget title (well, even the box art reeks of the word budget). But isn’t $48 too much to ask for – especially for a game like Offroad Extreme, or Counter Force, or Mini Desktop Racing, as far as budget Wii titles published by Conspiracy Entertainment go. To ease dubiety, the currency attached is Singapore dollars. A conversion shows that Offroad Extreme costs US$33 at my local game retailer, which is a little higher than the recommended retail price of US$29.99 in US itself, but that’s forgivable given the import cost. For the record, I don’t own a Wii. But based on reviews on gaming websites, it can be noted that Offroad Extreme is a really bad game. Of course, I can’t actually comment much on a game that I haven’t personally played, but Offroad Extreme is an exclusion. Excuse me if you have played Offroad Extreme before – and find it entertaining, but screenshots don’t lie. However looked at, the screenshots taken from Offroad Extreme more or less resemble vomit – by today standards. No, they aren't even better than last-gen games because trust me, I have played last-gen games before, and they all look better than Offroad Extreme.

Perhaps the screenshots aren’t the most irritating (or anger-inducing) subjects. The price tag is. For $48, I could get 8 Big Mac Value Meals ($6.20 each). For $48, I could get Brain Age 2 ($39) for my DS and buy a DS Lite Smart Case ($9.90). Pardon me if the prices are wrong because the costs depend on where you purchase your gaming goods from. There is no denying that those 8 Big Mac Value Meals are more satisfying than Offroad Extreme. Or if you prefer comparing games to games, I have to say that Brain Age 2 has better visuals, is of better quality than Offroad Extreme, but yet, is more affordable than the aforementioned – and with spare cash left to spend on a DS Lite Smart Case as well! Combine quality, affordability and usefulness or taste, quality, satisfication from the 8 Big Mac Value Meals into one and what you get will make Offroad Extreme seem like trash – because it offers you nothing beyond a DVD box. But if you have already gotten Offroad Extreme or gotten it from someone as a gift, the best you can do will be to take out the disc and discard it, remove the amateur box art, fold it into a paper aircraft and give it to your younger siblings, and after which, utilize the DVD case for your holiday photo CD. Nice.

^ How to turn a Wii into a Vii.

Now, that was my first time seeing trash cost so ridiculously, but as mentioned, this problem isn’t solely with Offroad Extreme. Another check revealed that Counter Force costs $48. You know, that game with the lamest box art – the one with that Gundam-esque robot holding a weapon and shooting it at you (as if telling you: OH HAHA! YOU SHOULD BE SHOT FOR BUYING THIS GAME!). Well, it’s right, isn’t it? Buying these effortlessly-made games only encourages Data Design Interactive (the developer which makes all the budget Conspiracy Entertainment Wii titles) to design more of such absolute nonsense (obsolete graphics included) and allow Conspiracy Entertainment to publish them. Money can be better spent elsewhere. Stop the support for these types of games before the Wii turns into a Vii.

Now, you may ask: What was I doing at the game store? Did I buy Offroad Extreme Special Edition as a gift to someone? No, of course not. I did not buy anything from that game store, but I ended the day with a purchase of Assassin’s Creed for Xbox 360 (from another game store, that is).


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