Demon’s Souls, as you may have heard, is a difficult game. There is no “Easy” mode that you can play to just make it through the game. The tutorial is very brief and basic and actually doesn’t give you nearly enough information about the game before it literally ends in your death. Unlike other unforgiving games like Ninja Gaiden that ask if you want to reduce the difficulty after you die, Demon’s Souls actually takes away half your maximum life and makes the game even harder (and getting back that half of your life is not an easy task). And if that weren’t bad enough, every time you die you drop all of your experience/money (they are one and the same in the game), and can only recover them if you make it back to where you died the first time from the beginning of the level (the game auto-saves this, so no cheating your way out of death). Oh, and there’s no “pause” function in the game. Yes, really.Impressions, Jeff, PS3 | 6 Comments »
Every time I read about Dante’s Inferno I have conflicting feelings about it. Having only read about it, there are aspects of it that I both admire and question. In this way, I wonder whether Dante’s Inferno is actually a step forward or backward for the game industry as a whole. Here are some points I’ve been considering:Etc, Jeff, PS3, Xbox 360 | 4 Comments »
3D Dot Game Heroes doesn’t so much reek of Zelda as rip it off in every way, shape, and form, from the enemies to the music to the gameplay to the style (with a little Dragon Warrior thrown in on the character design, if I’m not mistaken). I’m still interested in it, though.
I am curious, however, if the style will actually inhibit or help the gameplay. It’s one thing to design a game that kinda looks retro, but it’s another to do something useful with it. Like Chekhov’s gun, if the only point of the style is to make people feel vaguely nostalgic, I think it might actually hurt the game.Posted in Geoff, PS3 | No Comments »
I’ve played Arkham Asylum, and it’s good. In fact, it’s so good that IGN has dubbed it the “greatest comic book game of all time.” I’m inclined to agree, but that begs the question: why does it work, when so many other licensed games have failed so miserably?
It’s not the gameplay. I don’t mean to disparage the game in any way by saying so, but the core gameplay of Arkham Asylum is a solid, professional stealth action game. It’s a strong entry into the genre, but it’s not breaking any new ground or adding anything that can’talready be found in similar games of that type. Rather, AA is unique in that the license is the key element in making it as good as it is.Geoff, PS3, Xbox 360 | 7 Comments »
I should really leave the country more often. The summer is ending with a fresh load of new games that I’m excited to try out, from Shadow Complex and Arkham Asylum to Overlord II and Civilization Revolution on my iPod Touch. I’m also intrigued by Voxel Kingdom, which seems reminiscent of Super Mario RPG on the Super NES.
I’ve often written about what I consider to be a glut of solid games around the summer and Christmas periods, which I think crowds out smaller, newer, and often more innovative titles in favor of high-profile sequels. However, you’ll note that only one of the above games is a sequel, which is a refreshing change of pace. I don’t have the aversion that many people do to sequels, since they wouldn’t be made if people hadn’t liked the originals. But it’s still nice to see so many smaller games getting such a warm reception.Posted in Etc, Geoff, Nintendo, PS3, Xbox 360 | No Comments »
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Bionic Commando update is particularly strong. I liked the remake, so I’m surprised to see that a game which has essentially the same flaws (punishing you for minor mistakes, basically only one compelling gameplay gimmick) getting poor reviews. Has anyone tried it?Posted in Geoff, PS3, Xbox 360 | No Comments »
A long week. Sorry for the lapse in posting.
I found the note that Sony is planning on continuing to include Blu-Ray in the PS3 a little puzzling - the BR player is essentially the main reason the PS3 is doing as well as it is. Why on earth would Sony compromise that in order to attempt to drop the price of the console slightly.
It’s been a running theme of this blog that Sony has, for all practical purposes, lost this generation of the console wars. This doesn’t, however, mean that the company can’t position itself effectively for the PS4 or whatever its successor will be called. Games like LBP will help fight a rearguard action that makes sure gamers are at least thinking about Sony when new devices come out. Keeping the BR player is probably the best way to keep it in the mind’s eye moving forward.Posted in Geoff, PS3, Sony | 7 Comments »
My copy of Killzone 2 arrived last Friday and other than it (at least initially) seeming like another case of a game’s hype exceeding its accomplishments (and inflating its reviews), the game unfortunately has another nasty side effect on me: dizziness.
Now, this has happened to me before with maybe one or two other games, but this is *not* something that happens to me with every first person shooter. I just played through Call of Duty: World at War with no problems and I’ve logged plenty of hours of time in Halo 3 and Left 4 Dead. None of those gave me any problems.
So why Killzone 2? I’m not really sure, though at least one part of the formula is probably because I’m playing on a 61″ TV. Theoretically, I’ve made sure I’m sitting back at what’s considered the “ideal” distance, but at that distance, the screen still fills most of my vision (which is the point, really). But since it doesn’t happen to me with every game, there must be some component of the game that makes it happen.
So, for Killzone 2 my guess is that it has to do with the framerate (which if I had to guess hovers at just a frame or 2 under 30FPS, but that’s just a guess) and the intended amount of motion that the game puts in in order to “simulate” a more lumbering sort of soldier-like movement. Oh, and the menus and loading screens don’t help either, with all of them acting sort of “blippy” and moving around somewhat “jaggedly” for… some purpose I’m not really sure about.
In any case, I’ll have more to say on the game (which, while I do think has been somewhat overrated by some sites, but is still good… other companies will steal the way it does multiplayer, I guarantee it), but wanted to know if anyone else has been experiencing this with the game, and if there’s any way to help it. It isn’t so bad that it’s impossible for me to play, but it probably does limit the amount of time I would sometimes like to play the game. Maybe dramamine would help…Posted in Etc, Jeff, PS3 | 5 Comments »
God of War 3 director Stig Asmussen on whether God of War 3 will include sex minigame(s):
“If it works, and it plays into the experience, then we’ll do it,” he says. “If it doesn’t work, I have no problem saying “this is turning into a gimmick” and putting those resources somewhere else.”
Um, Stig… I hate to break it to you, but the sex minigames from all of the God of War games were always a gimmick. I’m not sure if you’re trying to make sure your own addition to the pantheon of sex minigames has some sort of artistic merit or something, though for the game’s sake, I hope not. The minigames were always just a somewhat humorous little addition to the series and I have no doubt that another one will find its way into God of War 3 as well, whether it perfectly “plays into the experience” or not.Posted in Jeff, PS3 | 3 Comments »
Ludwig has a well-reasoned and plausible defense of the Resident Evil series’ control deficiencies, which he notes are intentional (suspense can’t be created as effectively if you’re blowing zombies away in between roadie runs like Gears of War). And he’s absolutely correct that it wouldn’t be the same game if it overemphasized movement and action instead of resource management. Ludwig argues that gamers tend to confuse this deliberate design choice with poor implementation, which is inappropriate, and I tend to agree with him.
That said, it got me to thinking - is a game whose basic nature is dependent on hampering the player’s ability to manipulate it fundamentally flawed, as a design? Consider this thought experiment:Geoff, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | 3 Comments »
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