Friday, 6 January 2012

Kiwis hating Aussies?

During the Rugby World Cup 2011 hosted by New Zealand, it seemed almost obvious that Kiwis hate Aussies especially Quade Cooper. Everytime Australia plays in the World Cup, Kiwis support the opposing team instead of their fellow neighbors. Everytime Quade Cooper gets the ball, the crowd boos him. HIs mother was so upset that she ended up supporting France in the final and was "ashamed to be a kiwi". Quade Cooper was born in Tokoroa, New Zealand and later moved to Australia. He is a rugby player playing for the Queensland Reds and Wallabies. Prior to the world cup, he was accused of kneeing Riche McCaw and in 2009, was accused of burglary.

News Talk ZB spoke about this hatred and said that the World Cup was about welcoming the Aussies, not hating them. An Aussie fan told Newstalk ZB about his experience in NZ. He was in a Queenstown Bar wearing a Wallabies shirt. As the only Wallaby fan in the bar, All Blacks fans disliked him. When the Wallabies scored a try, a female Kiwi fan got very upset and splashed a jug of beer at the Wallaby fan's shirt.

Australians had lost interest in rugby union as they are more focused on Aussies rules and rugby league (NRL). During the RWC 2011 semi final match between New Zealand and Australia, Crown Casino in Melbourne was packed with All Black fans watching the game on the big screens with barely any Wallaby fans in sight.

There is always a massive sporting rivalry between New Zealand and Australia which lasted over a century. Sports like rugby league, rugby union, netball and cricket. New Zealand horse Phar Lap, gained fame after winning the Melbourne Cup.

Apart from sport, both countries have been supportive to each other. When Australia was suffered from the Queenslands floods or the Victorian bushfires, New Zealand sent aid workers and equipment to help. When New Zealand suffered from the Pike River mine disaster and the Christchurch earthquakes, Australia also sent aid workers, police officers and equipment to help. Both countries fought alongside each other during the ANZAC invasion on Gallipoli in World War One.


The ANZAC invasion idea was made by WInston Churchill. Churchill wanted Turkey to be invaded and taken out of the war and allow the free flow weapon supplies to the Russian Empire. Weapons could not be supplied from the Arctic as it was frozen. Once Turkey was out of the war, the allies can flank the Germans by attacking the south east. Unfortunately, the invasion was a stalemate and later resulted in a retreat. Winston Churchill was sacked but promised that he'll be back.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 comparison

Modern Warfare 3
Battlefield 3

EA CEO - John Riccitiello was determined that Battlefield 3 will beat Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3 and described this competition as "the clash of the titans". He also wanted to see Call of Duty to "rot from the core". To add to this matter, EA corporate communications chief Jeff Brown said to Activision CEO Eric Hirshburg:

"Welcome to the big leagues Eric -- I know you're new in the job but someone should have told you this is an competitive industry. You've got every reason to be nervous. Last year Activision had a 90 % share in the shooter category. This year, Battlefield 3 is going to take you down to 60 or 70. At that rate, you’ll be out of the category in 2-3 years. If you don't believe me, go to the store and try to buy a copy of Guitar Hero or Tony Hawk."

Battlefield 3 was developed by DICE (Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment) while Modern Warfare 3 was jointly developed by Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer games and Raven Software. Why three companies? Infinity Ward went through alot of hardships as they went through lawsuits with Activision. Sledgehammer games assisted in the single player and survival mode development while Raven Software assisted in the multiplayer development. Because of the hardships, Modern Warfare 3 had the same I.W 4.0 from Modern Warfare 2 and unable to develop a new engine.

The I.W 4.0 engine was probably one of the best engines of 2009, superior to Black Ops I.W 3.0 engine and a major leap forward from Modern Warfare 1 graphics. According to Gunns4hire, the I.W 4.0 engine lacks soft shadowing, real time linear and dynamic independent lighting, real time physics, destructible structures and expansive interactive environments.
Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine tried to fill the gaps -

Frostbite 2 engine is one step closer to reality unlike the I.W 4.0 engine. It has destructable and naturalistic environments. EG - sunlight, flashlights and lasers blurrs your vision. The shadows move as objects like trees and vehicles move.

Both games will have a 8 hour single player campaign. It is considered long enough by the gaming community as Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2 had shorter campaigns at 5/6 hours long.

Battlefield 3 will have a serious campaign to match Modern Warfare 3's campaign type. Battlefield 3 had taken ideas from Call of Duty ideas by having multiple playable characters in the campaign.

When Call of Duty Elite was announced, EA responded with Battlelog. What are they?

Call of Duty Elite is a online social networking service like Facebook where you have your own profile showing your statistics like KDR, etc. You can also study maps and weapons and improve the way you play in the future. You are able to search people and form clans like Manchester United clan, New York clan, Harvard clans, etc. You are also able to comment on each others profiles and chat just like facebook. Call of Duty Elite is available on Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3.

Battlelog is the Battlefield 3 version of Call of Duty Elite except that it's free. Call of Duty Elite costs US$49.99 a year. At first people protested until Activision responded that it will include monthly map packs. Battlelog just wants to allow players to socialise online and form clans for free.

Call of Duty XP was a tournament with a $1million prize. Battlefield 3 fought back by having having a tournament on 2012 with a $1.6 million in association with Virgin Gaming. They also have a tournament on board the USS Hornet and a gameshow called "The Controller" by Gamespot.

Battlefield 3 tries to give a realistic simulation with huge maps, teamwork and vehicles. Modern Warfare 3 is a typical run and gun arcade shooter. MW3 is mainly for one man army, trick shots, throwing knife across the map, good KDR, emerging as a hero and lone wolf action. Not saying it impossible to do this in Battlefield 3, but teamwork is involved which provides some realism. EG - hitch a ride with your mates to get to an objective, your mates fly helicopters or jets to provide air cover, or in a vehicle - one man drives, the other uses the machine gun, etc.

During E3 2011, DICE showed off it's gameplay footage "Thunder Run". Activision, knowing that they are in competition stated that Battlefield 3 had only shown the PC version and not the console version where they mostly dominate. Battlefield 3 had constantly shown trailers to promote itself along with a co-op demo on Playstation 3 shown at an American TV show and a "Operation Guillotine" trailer shown on the Xbox 360 version. Bobby Kotick (Activision Blizzard CEO) wanted to try Battlefield 3 but was denied seeing that both EA and Activision are enemies bacause of the recent lawsuit.

Modern Warfare 3 will be equal on both consoles and PC. Battlefield 3 however will have PC as their lead platform. Why? Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine has alot of very powerful content which stretched the 6 year old consoles to it's limit. Bacause of this, the game will only run on 30 frames per second. By having it on 60 fps will lead to the sacrifice of the Battlefield experience (eg - vehicles and hige maps). PC multiplayer can have 64 players online while consoles have 24. Fair enough since the consoles' technology is 6 years old and PC technology literally upgrades every year. On PC, Battlefield 3 needs to run on Windows Vista (minimum) as it has Directx10 which produces digital sounds to bring the realism of war. PC version will run on 60 frames per second on 1080p while consoles will run on 30 frames per second on 720p due to it's aging technology.

For consoles on Battlefield 3, there will be 2 disks (single player and multiplayer) for the Xbox 360 while Playstation 3 only has 1. This is because Playstation 3's Blu ray disk has 35GB capacity including HD capability. Xbox 360's DVDs however only carry half of Blu ray's capacity and does not have HD capability. Therefore, the Xbox 360 edition gives you a optional 1 GB HD installation. The only difference is the textures on rocks and trees, etc.

Andy Mcnab (former SAS commando captured in Iraq) has assisted Dice in the game development and also wrote a book "The Russian" which expands from the single player campaign. Andy Mcnab had turned down many different gaming companies until DICE's inventation. Mcnab had helped DICE make Battlefield 3 graphics as realistic as possible.He provided ideas about how action might play out and reasons why. EG- soldiers' language, movement, handling of weapons and realistic looks like dirty boots. Battlefield 3 also uses ANT technology (used in the FIFA series) which is designed to make characters move correctly and realistically. This is the first time a non sporting game uses ANT technology.

Dice used realistic gun sounds, in other words, they record gun noises in ranges and spent a day with the army recording weapon and vehicle sounds.

Modern Warfare 3 only fought back by having their game run on 60 frames per seconds for smoother gameplay on both PC and consoles.

EA also did more to fight Modern Warfare 3 by having a slogan in their adverts saying "Above and beyond the call" meaning above and beyond the Call of Duty.

EA CEO - John Riccitiello also said that he wanted to see Call of Duty 'rot from the core'. Activision CEO Eric Hirshburg responded by telling them to stop this and also said:
"Can you imagine the head of Dreamworks animation coming out with a new movie and going to the press and saying that he wants Toy Story to 'rot from the core.' It's kind of hard to imagine, right?"
Infinity Ward was asked about this competition and refused to comment. If Infinity Ward had not been in crisis and been in one piece, they would have created a new engine and give EA a hard time. In other words, Activision would have responded to EA saying "Bring it on!".

Modern Warfare 3 has a limited edition Xbox 360 console while Battlefield 3 has a limited edition on both.

Overall, both games had been in fierce competition. EA spent $100 million on marketing Battlefield 3 and most people predict that Battlefield 3 will destroy Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3. To sum up what Battlefield 3 has that Modern Warfare 3 does not, it has destructable buildings, vehicles, huge maps, 64 players in PC multiplayer and the latest Frostbite 2 engine.

Infinity Ward vs Activision

After Modern Warfare 2 release, Activision fired the two CEOs of Infinity Ward due to "breaches of contract and insubordination". This video has more information:

The 44 employees and the 2 CEOs left to form a new company under EA called "Respawn Entertainment". The company may have a bright future as the 46 employees of Respawn are veterans of Modern Warfare 1 and 2. EA had been sued by Activision for $400 million after allegations of copyright/property thief. During 2009, it was alleged that the Infinity Ward CEOS met with EA secretly. The two Inifnity Ward CEOs had not signed exit documents declaring that they don't have anymore Activision property with them.