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 »
I suppose I was foolish to ever think that I had dodged a bullet with my XBox 360. As countless other publications declared 100% failure rates with their XBox 360s, I thought that, perhaps, since I was not a “professional” game journalist that my well-ventilated 360 born circa April 2006 would just survive to tell its story to the next generation of consoles. How naive.Jeff, Microsoft, Xbox 360 | 4 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 »
Natal is still nascent, but reading this IGN preview suggests that it may have some difficulty in fulfilling much of the promise that was initially offered by the Wii. The latter console, while quite a bit of fun, unfortunately was less of an accurate motion sensor than initially believed. Similarly, IGN indicates that Natal, while fun, has many of the same problems: accuracy that is somewhat questionable at best and which, when compared with the lightning reactions that gamers expect from their controllers, falls considerably short.
I recall seeing fairly accurate motion sensing technology at Epcot Center some 10+ years ago. Why it hasn’t come further is an interesting question.Posted in Geoff, Microsoft, Xbox 360 | No 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 »
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 »
I may be the only person on the planet who feels this way, but I have absolutely zero interest in historical Fallout scenarios. I’m mildly curious about the backstory to the game, but it’s really only of interest to me insofar as it explains why the world of Fallout 3 is the way it is. Reliving Operation Anchorage? Meh.
I’ve noticed I have this attitude with respect to movies as well, and it might be tied to the fact that past events have already played out - the player (or reader or watcher) can’t get any really new information out of them that isn’t already reflected in something they’ve already played (or read or watched). There’s a certain artistic technique to being able to flesh out backstory while avoiding continuity errors, but I’m not particularly interested in the details. Once you know that Darth Vader is Luke’s traitorous Jedi father, do you really have to see him act out the specifics?
I’m much more interested to see what happens next.Posted in Geoff, PC, PS3, Xbox 360 | No Comments »
I’m going to be in Steamboat Springs and Australia starting at the end of the week, so I’m getting all of the game of the year nonsense out of the way before I go. I’ve always found the idea of anointing one game “the best” of its peers to be subjectively absurd at best and downright flamebait at worst. So why am I doing it? It’s entertaining and I think it’s worthy of debate, if not resolution.
So herewith, my games of the year, for each console which I own.DS, Geoff, Impressions, Industry, Microsoft, Nintendo, PS3, PSP, Sony, Wii, Xbox 360 | 7 Comments »
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