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So to start off, I did actually beat Suikoden IV early Sunday night thanks to the tried and true method of power leveling my choice guys for the final battle. This does technically leave me with an rpg void, which is dangerous with Xenosaga Episode II coming out tommorow (I even put a down payment on it when I trade in Suikoden just in case, but I'll be taking it off), but I wsiely decided to spend my money on The first volume of Batman: The Animated series instead (all the batman animated shows rock, they should come out with some mega collection considering there's around 10 of them). I've also virtually ignored Resident Evil 4 for the last two weeks, so that'll hopefully keep me busy for awhile.

And finally getting into the meat of today's topic-Ads in videogames. Ads in videogames have been around longer than most people think (anybody remember Global Gladiators? great little game back in the 16-bit era that was pretty much a massive McDonald's ad, and I've lost count of how many games were horrid ads back in the Atari days because even cereal companies made videogames back then), in fact, many games are still nothing more than poorly developed ads for toys, movies or cartoon shows, but one game in particular is getting gamers cheesed off-The latest Need for Speed title from EA. Mainly because not only is the game littered with ads for companies that have little if nothing to do with cars (i.e. Burger King), but also because EA is the world's biggest publisher and it seems like a move strictly motivated to make even more money off an already top selling franchise rather than a sacrifice a little integrity so a quality game can get made. In all honesty, I could care less if every sword in my next rpg has a brand name on it, as long as it doesn't interfere with the gameplay. Much as I don't like EA, they (and most other established, credible companies) are smart enough to realize if they flood a game with ads and no gameplay, it will have repercussions in the bottom line where it will hurt them the most. Besides, extra cash flow will probably allow for them to do more experimental & edgy titles and take risks on things such as Oddworld: Outlaw (which based on the lackluster sales of previous Oddworld games, I'm suprised anybody would publish, not to mention those great games had many ads for Sobe placed throughout the earlier games). So, in the end, I honestly don't think us gamers have much to worry about...


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