12/5/08

So I got around to playing Dead Space...

What uninspired shit. I mean really, why do we put up with this people? Yeah okay, a couple of nice sections, like the gravity thing. That was OBVIOUSLY made by someone who loved Ender's Game, and understood WHY it was awesome, so of course that's going to be fucking good. But the rest? I mean really. WTF.

Let's start with the interface. The game has almost no actual pause menus, as in shit stops and you get a menu. The whole game, for the most part, just keeps on going, and merely projects a hologram of your inventory/map/objectives into the game world. Genius? Fuck yeah. But it doesn't go far enough. Like the rest of the game, it doesn't follow it's shit out to it's logic conclusion. In this case, it's something as simple as WHERE THE HELL DOES THIS ISAAC SHITHEAD STORE THIS CRAP. Most games don't make you ask this, but if Dead Space wants to get all fancy with it's inventory management* it's gotta go the whole goddamn nine yards. This is a problem we will see alot.

So next up...ehhh...lets go with...enemies. God, if there is a more poorly designed pile of shit foes, I would like to see them. Like before, we start off with a nice idea, where instead of getting headshots, you instead get limbshots, and that kills the necro-whatevers**. Genius? YES! When you take into account that the pistol, which SHOULD be the player's favorite weapon, but isn't, can change it's orientation, you've got yourself the beginnings of something here...but then the designers just have to go and shit all over you again. This time, it comes in the form of enemies whose limbs are a bit tougher to chop off. There are these dudes that the bat dudes make from dead people. The animation for it is kinda cool***.

Anyway, these bat dudes, which are kinda easy to kill, make dudes that are NOT easy to kill. Once again, we're in the cool here. You have a nice little gimmick, that when used properly, could add some nice tension to the fights. But then they go off and put those uber-enemies in places, JUST BECAUSE. Fucking idiots.

You what this game really feels like? Like it started out with one guy, who knew his shit, and he started getting people behind his design, and eventually got the Higher Ups at EA on board. And that must have been happy as shit. I mean, he knew he knew his shit. And now he was gonna get recognized for knowing his shit.

And then came the EA-diots****.

EA-diot:"Hey, we have credits all over the place! Let's put in a store!"
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"No."
EA-diot:"Why not?"
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"Because why would a mining company sell tools to it's own employee's, while it's employee's were ON IT'S FUCKING SHIP?"
EA-diot:"But how will the player get the Assault Rifle?"
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"The player can pick it up from A DEAD SOLDIER."
EA-diot:"Speaking of the Assault Rifle, it's too powerful."
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"It's a goddamn ASSAULT RIFLE."
EA-diot:"Speaking of the Assault Rifle, it's too powerful."
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"Then make it harder to get. Then make it harder to find ammo for. THEN TAKE IT THE FUCK OUT."
EA-diot:"But then what will the player buy at the store?"

LATER:

EA-diot;"Hey, instead of putting the normal enemies here, lets put the uber-enemies here!"
Dude Who Knows His Shit:"Why? There's no bat dude to make said uber-enemies anywhere in the level."
EA-diot:"Yeah, but the uber-enemies will scare the player because they're hard to kill! And we should be scaring the player at all times! We ARE a horror game after all! You have alot to learn buddy! But that's why I'm here."

etc, etc.

Seriously, that's all Dead Space really is. Intriguing ideas executed very shitily. You're better off play Bangai-O Spirits for the Nintendo DS. Or Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2. Or Dead Rising for the Xbox 360. Or Rest to Reset. Not anything at all, but there's bett shit out there.

More to come on this later.

*which once again, I wholeheartedly support!
**I might want to talk about the story...but nah.
***In general, I found the graphics quite nice. I am rather fond of Isaac's character design in particular. But the level design...well that's it's own section.
****Do you see what I did there?

10/3/08

October '08 Round Table: All in the family

That time of month again! IT'S ROUND TABLE TIME!!!

*

So yeah, family. And video games. A winrar combination?

For me, not so much. Well, ya know, sometimes it works out, like all those times me and my brother watched each other play videogames**, and commented upon what we saw***. And there are also the times I was over at my cousin's house, and played RTS' with him****. Oh yeah, and that's also where I played alot of Sonic, which has had a huge impact on the games I plan on making.

But other than that...not really. I mean, just because I was always so much better at them than...well...everyone else. Sure my brother could put up a real challenge in some games, but for the most part, I dominated.

Like there was this one time, back when my N64 worked******, and I played that Diddy Kong kart racer game alot. Like a whole lot. Like every second I wasn't playing Banjo-Kazooie. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't alot, but still. Some. So anyway, my Mom notices that I've really taken a liking to this game, and decides that we need to spend more quality time together. So she starts playing it to.

And man, does she suck. I mean, for me, the computer players were a non-issue. I spent most of my time outracing my own records, and just ignoring their sorry asses. I never got below 1st place. But my mom could barely eke out 5th! It was just so jarring for me to realize that my mom, this super-smart, super-wonderful person was just plain shit at this game.

I like to think it traumatized me sometimes. Then I read about people who were actually fucking traumatized. Then, notsomuch.

So that's one thing.

But hey, the Wii! And Wii Sports! I totally forgot! Mostly because I haven't played it in like months*******, but hey, those times were/still are/will be fun! Cause they're games that my parents don't completely suck at!

But wait...I don't like sports games. I mean sure, I'll play them, but I'd really rather play CoD^4, or Ikaruga or...anything. I mean, Wii Sports has it's appeal, but the only mode I really honestly like, boxing, is just to vague in it's movements, so imprecise...********

...And then there's the fact that I'm the only one who really likes that mode, and everyone else like bowling and golf, which is fun once or twice, but not really something I'm up to a whole lot...

so yeah, games + family isn't exactly a winrarring combination for me. Shit, my dad still thinks that they're wastes of time that are causing me to fail my college classes...EVEN WHEN I HAVEN'T PLAYED A GAME IN WEEKS...

Yeah, most of my memories on the intersection of games and family are of my dad yelling at me, and that shit actually DID traumatize me...so yeah...*********

*cough*awkward*cough*

I think I'm just gonna end this post right here cause I really don't want to take a trip down memory lane right now...kinda tired, and I got homework to do...so yeah...

Hope you have a nice day!



*NOTE TO SELF: Link to youtube of people applauding before posting this
NOTE TO NOTE TO SELF: Sounds like alot of work.
NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO SELF: Yeah, it does.
NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO SELF: It could have been done by now if you had actually done it, and not just sat here typing about doing it.
NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO NOTE TO SELF: Fuck off.
**Mostly him watching me, ROCK AT THEM.
***"You suck, give me the controller!" || "Don't waste you arrows!" || "NOBODY LIKES A BACKSEAT GAMER!"
*****He's like in fifth grade or something, and he kicks total ass at Dawn of War. Awesome
******No Sissy, I never will forgive you.
*******What's really out for the Wii right now? Seriously, could anyone post a must-own Wii game?
********Post forthcoming.
*********Not to say my dad was abusive or anything, I mean he's a great guy, just didn't know/understand how scary he was when he was mad at us.

9/29/08

So I got around the playing Braid...

Oh man. Oh shit. Fucking hell shit yes. Braid.


YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

s


SSSSSSSSSSSSS

*cough*

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

*sip water*

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

So I liked it. Was it kinda faggy? Kinda 'pretentious'? Kinda almost sexist if viewed a the proper angle, just behind the fold of the themes? Yeah. Definitely.

But it was also fucking complete. It was whole. It ended at the beginning, and began at the ending. That's some zen shit right there.

Do I need to even talk about the actual gameplay? Who doesn't know how Braid plays that this point? Rather, who doesn't already have their notion of how Braid plays ingrained into their mind, either by experience or teh internets?

So you know what? Not gonna talk about the gameplay. Right now. But I will talk about how Braid is gonna get remembered.

As soon as I can come up with an argument about how we as gamers have such short attention spans and such little memory...but do we really? I mean yeah, it's vogue to say the internet's make us stupid* and shit, but does it really? in many ways we gamers never forget! I mean, we've got the world's largest memory bank into which we can pour our ROMS for posterity, upload our thoughts on our blogs, and record our actions for eternity**. We like motherfuckering elephants on Lymph*** or some shit. I mean really. WE STILL BITCH ABOUT DUKE FUCKING NUKEM.

So screw it. I'll try a different line of attack.

But it's like, where do I start? It's just so whole. So complete. Other games, I can take apart just by pulling the loose thread, of which I normally have my pick. But Braid...man it feels almost wrong to take that shit apart. Almost.

Okay, so lets start with the bad. Out of the whole game, I only needed to look up the solution to a puzzle three (3) times. They were as follows;

Once, for the puzzle that requires you know that enemies can jump off of you! That's bullshit Blow. I've never seen this mechanic before, never had any situation in which I can uncover it naturally. 'I don't want people to use spoilers' my ass****

Again, to understand how I accidentally solved the second to last puzzle in the second to last world. I hate that fucking ring.*****

Again, to solve the ending 'story' puzzles in the epilogue part. It was 2 am, and I had school that morning! Sue me!******

So there you go. Three puzzles that sucked, but only in relation to the rest of the game.

Go Blow. Hehee...Blow. God, that name is so funny.

Where was I. Oh yeah!

To sum up, the weakest part's of Braid are better than the best parts of most games. Let me repeat that

BRAID'S SHIT SMELLS BETTER THAN YOURS

Comprende, ese?*******

No you don't. Wanna know how I know? Cause I don't comprende it, cause if I comprended it, I would just write a post about that, and not about Braid in general.

So since I don't understand the full repercussions of this statement, I'll just move on. Note that I will return to this in a later blog post...maybe. If I remember.

So hey, taking it apart right? Picking at one loose thread, and just letting the whole unwind. What other threads are there...the bad parts thread didn't work as well as planned...

Oh I know! The story!

A game reviewer far funnier than me has complained about how the story and the gameplay are not intertwined. He states, and I quote...ahh never mind. Quoting is hard. But the basic jist of ZP's story complaint is that since they're not side-by-side, they're apart.

Normally, I feel that ZP is on the money, but this time, I just gotta disagree. You see, I think the 'story' segments were genius. They were Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2 genius. I think that the small room where those books are located for each level is brilliant. It lets the player read the books only if they want, and normally, they want to, even if out of nothing other than sheer curiosity. It requires a COMMITMENT by the player. None of this forced cinematic bullshit. If you want the story, it's there for you. And people just can't resist that kind of shit.

Secondly, it gives us a frame for the level. It's something like "and on that note, lets play the level!".

The next complaint is against the game's story. Action Button actually had a pretty nice critique of Braid, that pointed out that hey, this story is kinda sexist. Can't find it anymore, so there.

And yeah, I can see that. But is the story sexist, or is Tim? I contend that the whole story is through Tim's eyes, and let's be honest here, he's something of a douche. And at the same time, come the epilogue, we get to see things from a more neutral observer's standpoint.

And shit, while I'm on it, that part at the end where the text changes when you're hiding behind somthing? Fucking A.

...Yeah...I think that's it. Nothing more really to say, at least right now. Art was great. Level design was phenomenal. Story was told through the viewpoint of a fucking sexist shithead. Braid's shit smells better than yours...yeah, that's about it.

Fuck. I gotta end this post now...

OH SHIT! Wait! The stars! They were almost a good idea! It's just such bullshit, because one of them you can only get by NOT solving one of the puzzles, so if you're trying to get the stars AFTER you beat the game, you're SOL. Really, what the fuck is up with that Blow? I mean really, most people are gonna find out about them only after beating the game. And shit, I think it undoes the whole theme of the game, that thing where you end and the beginning, and begin at the end. When you FORCE the player to restarts THE WHOLE GAME, you kinda undo that whole shtick********. Really man, how did that make it into the game?

So yeah. I think that's it.

POST ENDS NOW!

*Like that dude on the Report the other day. What Report? What dude? Guess.
**"DUDE! Can you still feel you nuts?" "I can feel Johnny, but not Depp!"
***EOT AK, eat your heart out!
****It is a testament to Braid's awesome that this/these puzzle(s), if it had been in any other game, could very well have been a highlight.
***** See:****
****** See:*****
******* Team 842, Flacon Robotics, FTW!
********I can't believe that the Firefox spellchecker has that in it's database.

9/6/08

Ikaruga post coming....

But I first need to play the game properly, ie., with a joystick. Got it for the 360, and damn it is good, but I can't really talk about it without playing it properly.

Should I make my own? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........................................

7/6/08

July 08 Round Table: Hardnessicity

So hey, another month, another round table from the folk(s) over at Man Bytes Blog! The wootage knows no boundaries!

None I say!

So this month is all about difficulty in the gamings. One of the things that has always fascinated me about gaming is the line between an honest challenge, and simple frustration. I think this line is probably best show by Assassins Creed.

Now, AC is not a bad game to be sure. It's simply a game that, like alot of good games, really enjoys shitting on you.

Take, this for instance.

So I'm like halfway through that game. It's been good, but not fucking awesome, and I'm sitting here thinking, 'Man, where's the game Penny Arcade was playing? Cause shit man, I wanna play that game.' So anyway, I decide to really buckle down, and give this game a real shot at wowing me. So I decide to play it by the book for my next assassination. No bullshitting around, no being a dick, no high profile shit; the book.

So I stake the place out. I figure I could come at it from my targets right, since that's the quickest way back to the bureau*. So, I take out the two guards all quiet-like, sit in the shadows, and wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

As I wait, I come up with a nine-point action plan. It goes like this

Run

Run

SHANK

Run

Run

HIDE

Run

Run

SAFE

So I wait some more.

And more.

My dogs come into the room, and one licks my legs. Still, I wait.

As I wait, I realize that my nine-point action plan can actually be cut by one whole action! Since I am this close to where my target will be once the fucker shows up, I really don't need to run-run-SHANK. What I really need to do is jump-SHANK. EFFICIENCY!!

So I wait some. One of the dogs tries to get into my lap, but I push him off. You see, I am taking the game cereal.

My brother comes in.

"What are you doing?"

I tell him about my nine- oops! My seven-point action plan.

"Well you need to trigger the event first"

I reiterate the brilliance of my seven point action plan. I offer making a chart.

"Yeah, but you need to trigger the even first."

I sit there, dejected. No way. I did my shit right. I did the stealthy, I did the guard-taking-out, I DID MY SHIT BY THE BOOK. And now, I have to get into the crowd? The heavily guarded crowd? When I did my shit right? When I made my seven point action plan? I got up, went over to the 360, and shut it off.

At that moment, I realized that I have finally matured as a gamer. I have reached the state where I can recognize the difference between a game challenging me, and a game shitting on my face. It's taken me 10 years, but by God, I've done it.

I think that we gamers have grown far to used to eating shit. I feel that when one looks at the video games made up until this point, one can clearly see that very, very few are shit free. Not to say that most aren't shit, but rather to say that they're not shit-free. Now some of this is due to the simple fact that the only one amongst our number who knows anything about game design** has us eating mushrooms. But a lot more of it is due to the fact that we just keep on taking it. So that's why games suck. Because of you***.

In conclusion, stop eating shit, you fucking dumbass.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play Assassin's Creed...just one more assassination.















Honest.

*Man, that was a bitch to spell

**I mean anything as in anything significant

***No really, it's my fault too. We're in this together, Person-I've-Never-Met-But-Has-Awesome-Taste-In-Blogs.

4/16/08

April Round Table: Lonely Games

So hey, Man Bytes Blog. Sweet blog. Very well written. Very engaging. Few swears. Lots of measured, careful, thoughtful statements about games and gaming. So, apparently, Corvus does this Round Table thingie, so I'd figured I try a crack at it. The theme this time is finding common threads among your favorite games.

So, favorite games:

Odin Sphere
Any shooter by Cactus
Any shooter by Kenta Cho
God Hand
Dead Rising
Audiosurf
Shadow of the Colussus
GTA: San Andreas
Devil May Cry 3
Radian Silvergun
Spectromancer
Magic: The Gathering
Chess
Blackjack
Texas Hold'em
Dawn of War
Passage
Discipline: Record of a Crusade
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

...huh. It's weird seeing all those things together, isn't it. I mean, I constantly talk to myself about these games, but I've never actually written them all down before. Ya know, all as one. Huh. Well I can't see a pattern. So how about games I hate?

Discipline: Record of a Crusade
World of Warcraft
Odin Sphere
God Hand
Dead Rising
Darkened Skye
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

...Yeah. I still got nothing. Let's try observing why I hate these games!

Discipline: Record of a Crusade - First ending I got hurt Otokawa.
World of Warcraft - Grind
Odin Sphere - Grind
God Hand - Half-finished
Dead Rising - Brilliant story-telling technique, stuck telling a B story
Darkened Skye - wasted good allowance money on this
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence - fucking control scheme from the 9th layer of hell
Bioshock - uninspired

... Hmm...Let's go back to the ones I love.

Odin Sphere - first game where I almost cried / I heart Gwendolyn
Any shooter by Cactus - Man's a genius
Any shooter by Kenta Cho - See: Cactus
God Hand - Ballsy design
Dead Rising - Ballsy design
Audiosurf - $10 for a game I'll play for the rest of my life
Shadow of the Colussus - Brilliant
GTA: San Andreas - WCTR
Devil May Cry 3 - 'Fun Factor'
Radian Silvergun - Good ole' shmup goodness
Spectromancer - Ingenious use of cards in digital format
Magic: The Gathering - a blast
Chess - European philosophy in 8x8 squares
Blackjack - Fun/random elements integrated into game of skill
Texas Hold'em - Fun/random elements integrated into game of skill
Dawn of War - Fun
Passage - Art
Discipline: Record of a Crusade - Taught be about player expectations
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence - Sheer craftsmanship

I guess, when I look at it like this...none of these games pull punches. They don't meet you halfway. They don't concede anything. They are what they are, they know what they are, and by god they're happy with it. They're ecstatic even. They don't want to be movies. They don't want to be novels. They don't want anything more than to be just what they are; games. Now some of
them (SotC, Passage) use the fact that they're just games to show us something beautiful, to make 'art'. Others (DMC3, Radiant Silvergun) are content with showing us what we've learned how to do. Some show us the future, some the past. some show where we're coming from, and others give a hint of where we're going. But they're all happy just being games.

And looking at this list of games I hate, I see things that aren't happy being games, or aren't fully realized as games. They're not content. They're so...worried. Anxious. Unfinished. Or worse, they just don't care.

Like WoW. When I was playing WoW, I just got this incredible sense that the game doesn't care about itself much. I mean, I'm out here slaughtering these lizards, and for what? For some levels? If I murder Thunderlizard #3002212379872761, does anyone give a fuck? Does it change anything significant? All that happens is some fucking bright-ass pillar shines on me, I get some skill points, and it's right back the fucking grind.

And Bioshock; shit on a biscuit that game was pissed! It was so constrained, so trapped into what it thought an FPS had to be, into how a story had to be told. Into how combat has to work. It was so held back. Playing that game made me so sad, because all I saw was something awesome raging against chains it put on itself.

And God Hand, man God Hand. It fell apart around the edges. The center the meat, the main levels of the game were fantastic. Beating up wrestling gorillas, spanking hot dommes, suplexing thugs. THAT WAS AWESOME!!! And then you get to the Last Boss, and you're like SWEEEETTT!!! Double the POWER! And then you're like, let's do it again God Hand, this time, ON HARD...And then...the game forgets. I forgets about all those moments that you two had. It
forgets about that time you got BOTH God Hands, and you were like, "take this DEMON DUDE", and he was like "NO YOU HAVE DEFEATED MEEEE!!!" It forgot. How could it do that to me? After all those moments, gone. Did God Hand ever really love then?

So anyway, yeah, that's what I see from these lists. I see games that understand what they are, and games that don't understand what they are. The games I love know what it is that they're trying to do, and by god, they do it. The games I hate...not so much. You know what? I wouldn't even say I hate those games. I just feel bad for them. They're just so pitiful.

They're lost. Lonely.

I think this whole round table has been good for me. I think I'll do more of this kind of taking-my-thinking-on-games-apart stuff. But for now, I gotta go to EEE 120! PI AWAYYYYyyyyyyyyy......!!!!

4/12/08

So I got around to playing Karoshi 2...

Alot like Karoshi one. That is to say, the goal is to die, and it's surprisingly hard. Puzzles are fiendish, to say the least. All in all, a good old clever little time.

Oh, and it has a Shadow of the Colossus reference. Hell yes.

4/9/08

RTS Idea, or, FUCK ONSCREEN BUTTONS

You know what always pissed me off about RTS's? The fucking buttons in the GUI. Very briefly, look down upon your cheeto-encrusted keyboard. What do see? Other than tissue papers of course*. You see buttons. Loads, and loads of fucking buttons. Look at all them damn buttons. Thats more buttons than I've ever seen! Ever! Count them damn buttons dude!

I'll wait.

...


While you were counting, I looked it up on wikipedia. 104 buttons! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! That's not even counting combinations of those buttons**! Why the hell would you need any more goddamned buttons!?!?

What does this have to do with the Falcon? Using the falcon, I would make a cursor-less RTS. The reason that RTS's have always had cursors is because people are dumb fucks. They just couldn't think of any other way to move around the map. Well with the Falcon, it simple controls the camera. All zooming, panning, etc, is done by that wonderful little piece of hardware. This means we can each squad assigned to a letter (Alpha = a, Beta = b, etc.). Let the number pad assign directions, and use a chess-like grid to tell them where to go. Etc.

*It's allergy season!
**which would be 5356 by the way. If you're only counting 2-combo's

Novint Falcon: Here's my idea...

So hey, a design challenge!

Here's my idea: an RTS. The battlefield? THE GLOBE*.

No really, the whole planet. You would have no cursor. The falcon would let you spin the globe. Moving the knob forward zooms in, pulling it back zooms out. The game would auto select your units, and using the keyboard (NO ONSCREEN BUTTONS THAT SHIT PISSES ME OFF) you would narrow down your selections, and issue orders.

More on this RTS to come.

*Not the one on the Thames. The other Globe. The bigger one

4/7/08

Why Dead Rising is How You Should Tell a Story in a Game

Disclaimer: I heart hyperbole

You know what always pissed me off about video game stories?

Let's look at Mass Effect. In ME, you play a dude who's gotta save the universe, with only the Best Human Ship EVAR (tm) and a Ragtag Band of Fighters (tm). Somehow, you manage to do so. Who'da thunk it?

So there's this mission in the game where you gotta get to a planet and save some alien dudes who need your help. You are told to get there quickly, so you can save them! Time is of the essence you are told! And in case that didn't convince you, the mission's name is Race against Time!i

But what if I don't wanna? What if I wanna roam around the universe for a couple of days? WHAT THEN MASS EFFECT!?!?!? Then...nothing. The dudes you needed to save never die, they just stay there, on their little paradise planet, waiting for you to just show up any old time you please.

What. The. Fuck. That's a load of bullshit. Seriously, if we (and by we, I mean 'I' since no-one reads this blog!) want the medium to advance we got to start calling this shit.

You see, there are only four (4) video games that I have ever played that told a story right. First and second are Portal and Half-Life. These games need no explanation. Third is Shadow of the Colossus, or, 'The Game That Makes All Others Look Like Steaming Piles Of Dog Shit, only WITH BLOOM LIGHTING!!!'

And the last is Dead Rising. Dead Rising is the singly most ballsy piece of game design in the past decade. What of the indie scene? Fuck the indie scene*. Those shitheads are playing for peanuts when compared to Dead Rising. Those indie fucks are busy re-treading retro, and making their shit candy-coated.** Portal was not ballsy.*** Was there ever any real doubt about Portal? Sure, no one foresaw how awesome it was going to wind up being, but people, this is Valve we're talking about. They made Half-Life. While we were still shitting out shlocky WW2 shooters, Gabe Newell and his team were busy establishing the standard in FPS's, which is the case to this day.

But what of the story? I'll give you that fact that yeah, Dead Rising doesn't exactly have the greatest story ever. But I'm not here to talk about the story of Dead Rising, I'm here to talk about how it tells it. And how it tells it is the way ALL GAMES SHOULD DO IT****

So how does it tell it's story? What is this method that just has my man-panties***** in such a twirl? Timed tasks bitches.

Just let it sink in.

It's still sinking in, trust me dude.

Still sinking.

...

Remember ME? Mass Effect? Remember the problem I had? Why did I have this problem? I propose that the underlying cause of this problem was Narrative Momentum (tm). The Narrative of the game had no Momentum of it's Own. I was the momentum. I moved the story. And I could move the story in such a way as to let it make no sense.

Dead Rising's structure does NOT let you do this. It puts me in my place. In every other fucking game, I might as well be God, for shit happens when I say it happens. Nothing in those other games can happen without my say so. "You can't die! I'm grinding here!" Since I am God, there is no such thing as sacrifice. No sacrifice, no suffering, no suffering, no conflict, no conflict, NO FUCKING STORY.

Dead Rising is basically saying "Fuck you player, I'll die when I wanna!" You're not there for a story event? Tough shit. The game moves on. You wanna save people? Bitch, you better be prepared! You better plan the fuck ahead. You can't just go out and say "Geh-hee wizz! Let's go get us some PP, by saving some people! It'll be no problem!" And then you're stuck, with a half-dead team of survivors at the grocery store, wand god-damnit you're about to miss a fucking story event, I came to damn far to screw up now, comeon you lazy shits FIGHT THE ZOMBIES YOU IDIOTS!!!!

Conflict. Story.

More to come, when I'm not so sleepy.

*DISCLAIMER: I love the indie scene. Seriously, I do. Cactus 4 evar!

**DISCLAIMER: I love Peggle.

***DISCLAIMER: I love Portal.

****DISCLAIMER: See the Disclaimer at the beginning of this post.

*****Are they comfortable? You bet your ass they are.

3/17/08

An artical on Mirror's Edge

This is one of the few projects I am actually following

Favorite part? You run out of bullets means you throw the gun away.

Fuck yes. That shit be off the heezy. Fo' sheezy. Word. Sucka.

3/5/08

They fixed Audiosurf!

This is the game I remember from the beta! FUCK YEAH, no slowdown, no lag, just pure reflex.

Stronger + Ironmode + Ninja Mono = WIN

3/4/08

So I got around to playing Haxed....

http://haxxx.alienmelon.com/

the second game is interesting. The sudden interruption of your view is quaint.

the first one, I like the visuals, but a not a fan of 'dragging' games

2/20/08

Gears of War 2. Consider me interested

I liked GoW, but I always wondered just what they could really add to it. I mean, it was just such an incredibly well put-together system. What could they really add into the mix? And then I saw the video. Clashing chainsaws? Okay CliffyB. I'll bite.

2/15/08

So I got around to playing the OFFICIAL Audiosurf release...

EDIT:

Framerate issues. WTF? The beta had no framerate problems <---FIXED

Why can't I retrieve my password?<--- MADE NEW ACCOUNT

Why can't Audiosurf read songs off my Ipod?

Why is the song-selector just a glorified file selector? The game here is solid, bordering on god-damn corporeal. Make the song selector display ID3 tags, not file names!

Why do I have to reselect a character every time I want to start a new race? I know I can use the 'next song' button, but all my file names are super-long, making it useless.

PS: Ninja Mono + Ironmode + Faces on Fire = AWESOME

I wish I was on the Third floor

What? I do.

Then would I have to look up?

2/11/08

So I got around to playing Warning Forever

Man, this game is good. So simple. Kill a boss, and the next one's strategy is based off of the plan you used last time. So nice. So very, very nice. The game is constantly growing with the player, evolving as the player gets better.

Graphics are perfect for this game's purpose; they tell you exactly what you're hitting. Sounds are nice and simple, and by that, I mean I turned them the fuck off and turned up some Ascension. Seriously, this game almost seems made to played alongside some free jazz; the constant improv, the core fundamentals being fucked with in ways you never seem to quite fully grasp, the ever-shifting rythm and style, all adds up to one cohesive experience.

Is it just me, or does the omni-cannon do less damage than the main one?

2/6/08

So I got around to playing Guitar Hero 3...

I loved GH and GH2. The summer I got GH consisted of me, the living room, non-stop rocking, and horrible body odor (GH = workout!). When GH2 came out, it was sweet; they fixed everything that I didn't like about GH. 2 was 1 perfected.

So when I heard about 3, I was rather skeptical. What more was left to improve on? There was nothing wrong with GH2. Nothing. It was the GH system fully realized. And Neversoft? The only thing those guys have to their credit is Tony Hawk, which stopped being interesting at around...0h let's say 4. It's all the same with those games really.

So yeah, GH3. It's butt-fucking ugly. Seriously. It's hideous. The characters, the stages, the INTERFACE. Ugly. Where's the charm of the Harmonix games? Nowhere, that's where.

But Guitar Hero isn't about the looks; it's about the gameplay! So how is it? Here's how good it is; go play GH2. Seriously. Go play it. Now image overlaying GH2 with a steaming pile of stupid shit.

That's GH3. 2, but with stupid shit on top.

1/30/08

I don't know if I've mentioned this yet....

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/index_e.html

But man, I am a huge fan of Kenta Cho. Seriously, check this guys shit out! It be quite off the heezy. I love the simple, effective visuals. I love the inspired gameplay. And hey, the music ain't all that bad either.

Game Idea: D3v

You know what I hate? The backwards button in Sonic. Who the hell goes backwards in Sonic? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and I've heard a Dragonforce song once (GH3, you have failed me).


So anyway, this game is basically my take on Sonic, but with no backwards button. You hit the 'main' (Think A on an NES, or 'Z' on a computer) button to slowly build up momentum. As you do, you can hit the arrow keys (d-pad) to slash your sword. Kill enemies at the right time, and you'll go faster. I think this would add a nice dynamic, because the enemy kills are like a boost; they are only temporary. And you'll need the speed you get from them too! Because man, there are gonna be some serious jumps! We're talking some Grand Canyon 'shizzle' 'up in here' (that's how the kids are saying it these days right?)

Oh yeah, to jump, you release the 'run' button.

Also, some enemies cannot jump the chasms with you, and some can. Some you can outrun, and some you can't.

Oh yeah, also, story. But I'm more worried about the design right now.

EDIT: I'm thinking of treating D3v as more a series of motif's from which I can critique things I don't like in games...yeah...

Prototype coming soon.

1/28/08

So I got around to playing rRootage...

I think I'm addicted.

I like how the different powers make the battles flow differently.

Giga Wing = Pac-man?

I need to get Ikaruga.

ELABORATION

The 'Normal Mode' flow is just that; normal. You dodge, in a rather plodding manner. The pace isn't sow really; it's just careful, and steady. At least on the lower levels (How does difficulty affect the flow?)

'Psy Mode' has the special ability to become invincible after you've shot enough enemies, and scraped enough bullets. The invincibilty is short. Giving the player invincibility for shooting the main enemy makes it really hard to precisely time the power. Maybe on the harder levels things change.
Also, this mode lets you be a real jack-ass with bullet patterns.

'Ika Mode' reminds me of Pac-man, at least the pellet collecting part. This mode (based off of Ikaruga, which is now on XLM!) lets you pick between two colors; red and white. When you're white, you reflect white bullets back at the boss, and black bullets kill you. When you're black, vice-versa.
I just love how it takes the familiar mechanic of picking up 'tokens' and shifts it into a life-or-death proposition.
My only complaint is that it's hard to see white bullets that the enemy fires; he's yellow you see, and a rather bright shade at that. This dictates that you must stay a certain distance from the enemy, which in turn eliminates a whole host of stratagems (Thesaurus, FTW!).

And lastly, we have 'GW Mode'. This mode brings to mind the real Pac-man. The hunter-becomes-the-hunted part. This mode's mechanic allows you to reflect your enemies bullets back at them, but only after you're power meter is charged. When you use it (after a delay) you generate a shield, which shrinks and shrinks and then...GETS HUGE!
I like the flow, and the idea behind GW mode (named after Giga Wing, a wonderful arcade shmup, MAME FTW!). It forces back and all around with wave after wave of bullets. But when your meter's charged, you have to get right into the thick of things, and rush the boss, so as to get the most bullets reflected.

1/14/08

So I got around to playing the Audio Surf beta...

I am so willing to pay for this game.

But is it really a game?

Well yeah, of course it is, but it really seems to push how we think of games. It manages to makes procedural generation into a cohesive experience. Cool.

1/3/08

So I Got Around to Playing N...

On the surface, N seems like something I would love. Ninjas? Check. Robots? Check. Gold? Check. Wall jumps? Check. Fiendish puzzles, brutal death animations, and absurd jumps? Check, check, and mate.

So why do I hate playing this game? It's the controls. They just feel so horribly wrong. Every second I play N, I feel like I'm in pain. I have to strain myself to correctly time my jumps. And performing wall jumps? I cry. It's such a real shame. I tried to like this game, I really did. The controls just feel so off.

1/2/08

"Fears" or "Why I Don't think I'm Cut Out for Game Design" or "Why Am I Such a Worthless Coward?" or "Why Can't I Decide on a Goddamn Post Title, FUC"

Heh...Blogger cut off my title.

Most of the time, I am reasonably confident that I chose the right path in life, the path of "Making Games Into Art, Or, Failing That, At Least Legitimized By Mainstream Culture"(tm). But every now and then, I have fears, I have doubts, I have WHO AM I KIDDING!!?!?

Every now and then? Every other second I piss my pants in terror. Every corner I turn, I find something that terrifies me about gaming, about the future of our medium. I mean, come on. Why do We have to prove ourselves to Them? We game to escape Them! Gaming IS OURS. IT'S MINE. WHY DO I HAVE TO LOSE THAT!!?!?

And at the same time, I see that we need to evolve. I don't want to play Halo for the rest of my life. I want to explore, I want gaming to evolve, but I want it to still be mine!

Why are we even looking for acceptance from Them anyway? We are Their demise! We grew up on the Internet, We are weaned on the teat of the Information Age. We are the Death of 'Mass Media'. We are the Long Tail! That's what the Internet promised!

Man, I am one whiny bitch. I mean, seriously, how did this turn into some kind of immature diatribe against 'Them'? Who is 'Them'? Who are 'We'?

So 'We' (whoever that is) game to escape 'Them'...THAT'S THE PROBLEM. 'We' define ourselves through 'Them' and thusly, 'They' still dominate us. I see...

So that is the Nature of Rebellion...hm?

Oops. I went on a tangent didn't I? Sorry, I guess. It's just that Bioshock won't work for me. I was going to talk about how Bioshock is such an awesome game, and how on an artistic level, I don't see how to beat it, but the game crashes every other second. Stupid 360.