Hey, it’s Elrood, your faithful follower. I always get excited for you, ever year! New games, new consoles, industry trends, giant enemy crabs, the list goes on. I’m with you on this year too, excited. But I have some concerns. I see things…happening that YOU are all excited about, but it’s leaving the rest of us kind of worried. There’s so much to like, so I’m writing to you in hopes that we can discuss a few things. But don’t fret E3! Positives and negatives. I just want you to have a good show and really knock our socks off this year.
I’m sure all of you out there have them. Those games that you WANT to play but for some reason never have. Time, money, other games, we all have our reasons. So as I found myself in the market for something to play, Xbox live reminded me: Darksiders! Now, Darksiders is not an XBLA game. It was a full retail game that now is now available as a download for $19.99. Taking a shot with it has convinced me of two things. First is that I am ready for the digital download age. Not only did I not have to go out to a store and buy something, or want it NOW but have to wait for an order to reach my house, but also the game is just there right on my hard drive. The super lazy part of me even enjoys that I don’t have to get up and change the discs in my Xbox (Do I want to play Rock Band or Need for Speed….well Rock Band is already in there, let’s play that!). The second thing is that Darksiders is a game I should have taken a look at earlier, because as it turns out, this is a solid action/adventure game. It’s not game of the year material by any means, but especially for $20, it’s well worth playing.
Filed under: Games | Tagged: Chaoseater, Darksider II, Darksiders, Darksiders review, death, games on demand, harvesting souls, Mark Hamill, Metroid, Nintendo, Ruin, The Destroyer, War, xbox live, Zelda | 1 Comment »
I thought Fallout 3 was a great game. I played it for sixty something hours. I played the main quest through in its entirety. I spent hours just roaming the countryside looking for interesting things, of which there were many. I used internet faqs and YouTube videos to find the bobble head dolls so I could get an achievement. So naturally, when Fallout: New Vegas was announced, I was psyched. New adventurers to be had in the fallout universe? In Las Vegas? Sign me up! It was a release day purchase for me. I played New Vegas a little over an hour on that first night…..and haven’t touched it again since. So what happened? I realized something when I turned on the game for the first time and got to the main menu. The menu was the EXACT same one as Fallout 3. I was about to play the same game. The characters were different, the story was different, I’m not saying there were no changes. I just realized while staring at the main menu that while I had enjoyed playing Fallout 3 I just wasn’t interested in playing more of the same. Now this isn’t true for every series. I’ve played all the Call of Duty’s, all the Assassin’s Creed games, both Bioshocks, both Gears of War, Halo 3 and Halo Reach. I am not championing myself as too cool for sequels. They have their place. I’m just growing concerned that developers might be cashing in, literally most of the time, on brand names at an amazingly high rate recently. I’m growing even MORE concerned that we, as gamers, only have ourselves to blame.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: Activision, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Bioshock, blizzcon, Call of Duty, creative ideas, Fallout New Vegas, Gears of War, Halo Reach, heavy rain, Modern Warfare 3, Nintendo, original IP, Plants vs Zombies, Project Cafe, Super Meat Boy, too many sequels, ubisoft, World of Warcraft | Leave a Comment »
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’ve never played a Kirby game. My only experience with the little pink over-eater was in Gamecube’s Super Smash Bros. And a few rounds of Kirby golf on a ROM. So Kirby expert I am not. In fact, the only reason I picked up Epic Yarn is because I thought the game’s level design was so creative and interesting I simply couldn’t not play it. So imagine my surprise when I learned just how incredibly gay Kirby and his friends are. I have come to the conclusion that Kirby is the toddler version of Mario. But this makes his game no less fun. (more…)
Remember the time when multiplayer gaming was an enormous hassle? I recall renting a SNES multitap adapter ; a magical device that let four controllers be connected to one system. Fire up some Super Bomberman, get some friends to bring their controllers, and the fun would last for hours. Sure it might SOUND crazy for you and two buddies to drive to a friend’s house, whose not even home, and accost his mother to borrow a gamecube controller, but back before the internet was an important part of any console (except the Wii because Nintendo set sail for fail on that one) these were the kinds of things that had to happen to truly experience a game with friends. The present day is a different beast of course. Friends lists are one of the most important features on Xbox or PS3. However, even more so, the ability to just randomly jump into a game and shoot strangers in the ass, then virtually teabag them, is to me still a relatively new, strange, and completely horrifying experience. The ability to connect to the masses to play games is for me not quite as an awesome prospect as it probably should be. I wonder: am I the problem or is everybody else?
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: black ops, bomberman, Call of Duty, Crysis 2, cute pandas, fps, friends list, MMO, Multiplayer gaming, multitap, Nintendo, online gaming, PS3, RTS, starcraft 2, voice chat, World of Warcraft, Xbox | 4 Comments »
Video games have come a long way in terms of story over the past three decades. Back in the days when 8 bit was the new 4 bit and you had to use your imagination to fill in the gaps between those pixels, the only plot you really needed was “you’re a good guy. Everyone else is bad. Kill kill kill.”
Today you have games with writers, real honest-to-god screen writers coming up with dialogue and plot twists, almost like video games are becoming a form of art. (Eat it Ebert) Games are now produced with a budget big enough to rival today’s blockbuster movies, and even in the goriest hack-n-slash game, you can find something unexpected. Still, games can present a unique challenge to writers, since there are certain elements that absolutely need to be in each game.
There needs to be action. There needs to be a lot of action and combat and Madden football and poker, or, I dunno, random white rhinos charging Cabella or something. Therefore, most action and adventure games seem to fall into one of four generic game molds, with their story crafted around a simple premise you might find in an old school NES game.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president, Assassin's Creed, Bad Dudes, Crackdown, Fallout 3, Gears of War, grand theft auto, Half Life 2, Halo, macguffin, Mass Effect 2, Nintendo, Oblivion, open sandbox world, pac man, plot, Prototype, Red Dead Redemption, Red Faction, stories, The president has been kidnapped by ninjas, tophat, video games | 6 Comments »
E3 has come and gone. What was awesome? What sucked? Did anybody care about Nintendo? It is the grandest time of year to be a nerd.
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: 3ds, consoles, ds, ducktales, E3, E3 2010, Elrood, focus groups, hardware, kevin butler, Kinect, lifecycle, microsoft, move, Natal, netflix, Nintendo, Playstation, playstation move, Project Natal, sony, thats what she said | 2 Comments »
What is it about remakes that we love so much? Why can’t we just let something die? It’s been an unexplained phenomenon for at least the past century, where it seems our culture wants nothing more than to take one of our beloved cultural icons and beat it with a stick, until it looks nothing like the original.
I always thought it went down like this: somewhere there’s a large, open conference room stuffed full of old men in suits. The old men have enormous white beards and eyebrows that look ready to rip a man’s face off. They’re all wearing top hats and have monocles, and have been frantically discussing how to work the intercom without having someone walk outside to actually ask the secretary. They are all over a hundred and fifteen years old.
Defeated, the men turn to their real job as presidents of entertainment, looking toward their, old gnarled CEO for guidance. He clasps a cigar between his parchment thin lips and asks the question. (more…)
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: Charlie Chaplin, commentary, entertainment, ET, Final Fantasy, Metroid, movies, musings, NES, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, opinion, Playstation, rants, remakes, Super NES, technology, thoughts, tophat, Turtles in Time, video games, Xbox 360 | Leave a Comment »