Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creativity's Cradle, and Braid Review

Ok, this is something that I'm probably going to do quite a bit. I'm going to do a segment inspired by the game I'm currently playing, probably referencing it quite a bit, and after that I'm going to do a review of the game, or at least a post. Sometimes they might be integrated together.

Creativiy's Cradle

Independent games, like Braid, are important. They give up-and-coming developers with absolutely no connections or record an opportunity to test their skills, and show the world what they can do. It's kind of like a flash game, but less (MUCH less) competition and you actually make money for it. (Of course you could with some flash games, but probably less of them than XBLA games and the like, and there's a LOT more flash games.)

They also are (relatively) unhindered by restraints. You would very rarely find something even remotely like Braid, even in spirit, in a multi-million dollar blockbuster. Of course, they have awesome physics engines and unbelievable graphics, but those are, in some ways, not as important. You're free to do pretty much whatever you want with an independent game. You think of something cool, you talk with your partner, or partners, if you have any (seems like a lot of these are one or two-person deals), you just put it in the game. If it doesn't work or just doesn't appeal to a lot of people, it doesn't really matter that much. Would you care THAT much if something you spent a DAY on didn't quite work out the way you wanted it to? (I forgot what game that was, and it may have been a couple of days, but still!)

Some incredible ideas that could never make it as a full-scale game can do really well in the downloadable game format. Can you really imagine Braid as a $60, full-length game, complete with all the bells and whistles? It would (probably) never work, and I really wouldn't want it to. Small indie games are better than the big ones in some ways. They have charm and distinctive identities that the major games simply can't quite manage. The big games all borrow from each other and have similarities, but indie games have the opportunity, more than anything else, to be unique and creative. And that is a truly wonderful thing.


I said a fair amount about this game in a post last Wednesday, Braid part 1, so go read that first, if you haven't.

My final opinion is that it's like a good flash game, squared. You know how some good flash games, especially platformers, have that one gameplay hook? Take, for example, Shift. If you haven't played it, it's a puzzle platformer where you can shift from the white squares upside down to the black squares, and vice versa. It gets more complicated than that, but not that much.

Then there's Braid. The rewind is essentially equivalent to the shift ability, but Braid also has the unique aspect for every world, and they all have to do with manipulating time. Pretty creative, if you ask me. I'm pretty sure most of them have been done before, but not as well as this, and certainly not in the same game. ... I can't imagine how hard it would have been if all of it had been on the same stage, instead of individual worlds. REALLY messed up, I'd imagine.

The puzzles are wonderfully made, too. I don't think there's a single one that's actually physically hard to do once you figure out how you're supposed to do it. Sometimes there's really annoying, lucky ways to find a puzzle piece, but usually, or maybe always, a good way to figure out the puzzle and just put the pieces in there place. One puzzle that's easy for one person could be really hard for another.

It seems to me that the more people you have working on a puzzle, the easier it is. They seem to have different mindsets- maybe different level designers?- but some of the solutions I just flat out wouldn't have thought of. I won't give any examples, as you really should try to figure it out for yourself, but the puzzles are very diverse. Some of them you just need to go out there and experiment, and some of them reward sitting and actually looking at the problem, and searching for a logical solution.

Braid also has a story. I'm not going to talk about it, because it's incredibly confusing and I didn't actually pay that much attention to it, and frankly, I don't care that there's some deep embedded message that no one can agree on what it is, but seems to be worthy of Plato. The story is told as a story at the beginning of the half a dozen or so worlds. Having stories play out in that stop-start fashion would usually be bad, but it works because the world's aren't actually that long (I think there's an achievement for doing the entire game in 45 minutes), and the environment in the actual game very much contributed to the atmosphere of the story that is being told to you.

Which brings me to the music and art design. Incredible. This is what art, music and visual, should be like- not the style and all that, but the purpose. It is the main thing that makes Braid feel the way it does, solemn and contemplative and all that. I believe all of the art was hand painted, and it shows. You can tell that the developers really cared about this. The music even rewinds along with you, and it still sounds good, no matter what speed you're going at. I don't know about you, but that sounds really hard to me.

It's not that long, but it would vary from person to person a lot. One person who's mind just works the right way could (probably) do it in a couple hours or so, but for someone who is more straight forward and action-oriented, it could take several times that. Of course, they'd probably give up long before that...

In short, Braid is an incredibly unique, creative experience, and I hope that many nerds in their mother's basements will look to this game (and others like it) for inspiration and bring to life all those crazy ideas that they inevitably have circling around in their heads.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dragon Age: Origins: First Impressions

Ok, so I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins the past few days. I've gotten just past the first ogre at the top of the Tower of Ishal with my newest character, but with a previous character I went a little farther. Anyways, the main thing that strikes me is how different it is from all the other RPGs I've played in the past few years. It's very traditional- about the only thing the gameplay is missing that would make it more so is a D&D ruleset. This is by no means a bad thing. It's an awesome game, but if you've been playing Bethesda's RPGs or Mass Effect, this will take quite a bit of time to become re-accustomed to. As the game progressed, it kept getting harder, and I think it's because I continuously messed up my character, but I didn't like the auto-level for myself. What's the point of an attract aggro skill if you don't raise your constitution at all? This got to the point where I restarted, and we'll just have to see how this works this time around.

You may have heard that DA:O doesn't look that good. Maybe it doesn't look as good as Uncharted, but it's still amazing. The cutscenes seem to be done with the ingame engine, but they still look incredible, mostly thanks to Bioware's awesome story-telling ability and soundtrack.
The combat animations are great as well. The fighting is really good, and it's pretty good at disguising the very turn-based nature of the game, but that's nothing compared to the awesome kill animations. It's pretty cool when you're fighting this enemy and you chop his head off, or stab him with your sword and push him off with your shield, but that's nothing compared to some of the bigger ones.
There's a fight early in the game where you fight this huge, ugly ogre. The kill animation, should you get it, is absolutely epic-on the scale of a QTE finishing move in something in God of War, albeit with worse graphics and from the same perspective. Slash, slash, leap to his head, stab, ride him down, stab him AGAIN in the face. I managed to take a bunch of pics this last time, and they looked really cool.
The sound is pretty good too, and I especially like the soundtrack-but that's me, I like video game soundtracks.

Anyways, one thing that DEFINITELY bears mentioning is the lack of an alignment system. Surprised? I was. You can definitely be as mean as you want, on the order of a Renegade from Mass Effect, but there's no scale for this. The closest there is is the approval ratings of your companions. I definitely prefer it this way. I think there should be one, but it should work more as a reputation, allowing people to know what you've done in the past, etc. etc. But the way Dragon Age works is a good thing for the game. I haven't gotten to most of the major decisions, but the one I HAVE done was the grayest decision I have EVER made. I still think it was the best option for everyone involved, but Alistair seemed to disagree on principle, which makes sense all things considered.
This is a VERY good thing. Mass Effect's decisions, while they influence the story more and are decidedly more epic, are amazingly easy to choose from. Good, or bad? Dragon Age actually makes you choose, and it feels much more real and adds to the overall experience.

The amount of replay value is going to be absolutely through the roof. The different origins stories, the different tacks you can take in the missions, the different classes, the different companions to focus on, and everything, makes me think that I could spend a couple hundred hours playing this.

Personally, I like Mass Effect better, because I really like Mass Effect's universe, and its combination of RPG and FPS-possibly my two favorite genres. Dragon Age is awesome (I especially like the dwarves-Lord of the Rings was awesome, but their portrayal of dwarves was just sad), but the world and playing style just doesn't cater to me quite as much.

Well, that was a long first impression. From here on until I finish it, I'll just talk about the things that occur to me as I'm playing, specific aspects that I want to focus on. When I finally finish I'll do an actual review, and we'll see how it works.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy 2, Halo: Reach and Starcraft 2 Previews

Super Mario Galaxy 2, Halo: Reach, and Starcraft 2 are some of the most anticipated games in the latter half of these year, and as they all look incredible and some new information on all of them came up recently, I decided to do some previews.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

When I first heard of SMG2 (no, nothing to do with sub-machine guns.), I was disappointed in Nintendo. I thought they were letting up on the creativity that has made some pretty good games, and just making more levels for the old Galaxy.

Gladly, this is far from the case. They are ramping it up in every way possible-including the difficulty. They've added Yoshi (TY!), there's a cosmic guide, much like the Super Guide from New Super Mario Bros. Wii (huh, that was a mouthful. Or eyeful, I guess), new abilities like the newly-revealed cloud suit, upgraded multiplayer (nothing like the aforementioned NSMB Wii, of course), and even rumors of Luigi being in the game.

Basically, the reason this is SMG 2 and not another world, is because there is so many more tricks they couldn't put into the first one. They had to rein the devs in so they could fit everything into the 120 star limit and the release date. Everything I've seen points to an incredible game that will likely drown quite a bit of my life.

But not as much as this next title.

Halo: Reach

This is it. The big one. You though you finished the fight in Halo 3? (Let's not talk about Halo Wars or ODST, ok?) Think again. Reach is going to be Halo's last, defining hurrah of awesome. At least from the current developers, Bungie. Anything after this will be viewed with rampant skepticism, by me as well as others. I just don't think anyone else can do Halo as well, at least not and keep it Halo.

Anyways, Reach looks awesome. This is emphasized by the MUCH improved graphics, with higher tolerance, particle effects, shadings, and all that awesome stuff. Animations are better too, including these really awesome looking assassinations.
Next, instead of everyone starting with the same weapons, there will be different loadouts to choose from, which have specific weapons paired up with "armor abilities", which take the place of equipment from the previous game. Don't worry, no one's going to starting out with anything like the Sniper Rifle, Energy Sword, Rocket Launcher, etc.

That's fairly simple, but the armor abilities are a bit more radical. You've probably seen the dev videos and trailers with jetpacks. That's one of the abilities. It seems it's best used for mobility, for example jumping up a cliff or to the top of a relatively tall building. Of course, you're a sitting duck up in the air, as you're quite a bit easier to kill than a Brute. Which reminds me of a couple of things. Elites will be faster and more powerful than Spartans, but this is made up by Elites being bigger and thus harder to hide and easier to shoot. This is explained by the main characters being Spartan III's, not II's like Master Chief, and having an earlier version of the Mjolnir battle armor, because this is on Reach, and thus before even Halo 1.

Ok, back on track with armor abilities. Another one is Armor Lock, which makes you invincible for a short time, and discharges an EMP blast to give you a chance to kill the guys that are inevitably waiting for you. Also included are Evade, which is exclusive to Elites and allows you to roll away from danger (always wondered how they could do that and I couldn't! It's in their armor!), and Sprint, which is a Spartan exclusive that, well, sprints. Pedestrian, but extremely useful. Oh, and there's also an Active Camo that works like the invisibility from earlier games, but the faster you go, the easier you can be seen.

There's also new multiplayer modes, including Headhunter, Stockpile, Invasion (my personal favorite), and Generator Defense.
Headhunter is a slayer-inspired mode with a twist. You kill people, collect their skulls, and return it back at your base. The catch is, if you die with skulls, they'll scatter everywhere, free for anyone who happens to be waltzing by to pick them up. So it's either waste time walking back to turn in your skulls, or risk losing a bunch at once and losing the game. Your choice!
Stockpile is like Capture the Flag-with a twist! Bet you didn't see that coming. Anyways, the way this works is that each team has a base where you turn in flags, like normal, but this time there's 4 flags scattered around the map, and the base collects the flags every minute. So if you miss one round and have several flags there for like 30 seconds, but they manage to get them out before the minute is up, guess what? No points. So sad.
Invasion sounds awesome. This is a larger scale, more vehicle-oriented mode. The Spartans are defending a base, and the Elites are trying to get in. Simple, right? Not quite so much. There's 3 different phases, and each phase new loadouts and vehicles unlock. It gets pretty frantic, with all the vehicles everywhere and heavy weapons dropping near the end.
The last new mode is Generator Defense. The Spartans are defending three generators, and the Elites are trying to destroy them. Fairly simple, but the Spartans can make one generator at a time (I believe) invulnerable for about thirty seconds, with a slight downtime afterward. So if the Elites are focusing on one generator, a pretty good tactic, as the Spartans have to cover all 3, one of the Spartans can lock that generator down and the Elites have to go somewhere else.

Reach is also going to have customization! Nothing on the order of Modern Warfare 2, in fact it's not even going to change the gameplay. But finally, no more generic Master Chiefs wandering everywhere looking exactly the same! If you've seen the release trailer, you'll get an idea of what it'll be like. You earn credits during matches, and possibly during the campaign (I'll try to confirm that.), which you will use to buy cosmetic upgrades for your armor. The most interesting thing to me is the fact that these also carry over to single player. Awesome, huh?

So, it looks like Halo: Reach is going to be the best new thing for Halo since dual-wielding, and I'm definitely going to get it. Oh, and there's some pretty awesome extra stuff in the limited editions.. Though I still like the 2GB dogtag USB drive with SC loaded on it that you'll get with SC2's.

Speaking of Starcraft 2...

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

How do you follow up the most iconic game in the genre of all time, a game that is still played fanatically (especially in Korea. It's bigger than soccer in Europe!) more than an entire decade after the original came out.

Pretty well, looks like. Starcraft 2 is going to be released in 3 EPIC installments, each a full-length game focusing on one of each of the three races, Wings of Liberty for the Terrans, Heart of the Swarm for the Zerg, and Legacy of the Void for the Protoss. Of course, you'll be able to play any of them in the multiplayer.

The most interesting and unusual thing about SC2, at least for me, is how surprisingly open ended the campaign is. In the original, and Warcraft as well, you just went through each mission, watching the story unfold. In SC2, you'll be able to choose your missions, technologies, and upgrades as you go through the game. Yay, you're getting your RPG in my... everything! The funny part about this, is that the campaign is around 25 missions long, which is about as long as the previous one. And that's all as the Terrans, though there are rumors of a Protoss mini-campaign, and if there's one of those you can bet there'll be a Zerg one too. That's why they're making 3 games. The later ones aren't expansions, they're full-blown continuations of the story as the other races, because they each need a FULL LENGTH game to get the story across. Can you say most epic game EVER? (Except for Mass Effect.)

They're also doing tons of new units, around half a dozen new ones for each race. Which is a lot, if you didn't know. I'd detail them, but that would take it a long time. I think I'll just tease you with some things like.. hmm. Giant Colossal walkers of death, like from War of the Worlds, huge Motherships with beams of death and tons of other awesome abilities, and huge mechs called Thors that seem like walking siege tanks on steroids. (Of course, siege tanks are already on steroids, so what does that mean?)

Then, of course, there's the multiplayer. They are completely redoing, their multiplayer matchmaking service. Now you sign in as soon as you get in, and it works almost like Xbox Live, showing your friends (throughout Blizzard games, including WoW, BTW) what you're doing and allowing you to interact. There are also going to be gaming leagues, with official matches, standings, and seasons. There's around half a dozen, including.. Practice, Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and even an honest-to-god PRO league. You'll even be automatically sorted by after a few games into a division and league, according to your skill level. Speaking of that, it's obviously getting an upgrade to it's ability to judge that, which is always good. Sucks to get stuck in a match getting owned by everyone, doesn't it?

So, there you go. Previews of 3 of my most highly anticipated games of the year. Any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, or any other way you can think of, and I'll try to find out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Braid part 1

So. Braid.

It's unique. That's it's defining characteristic, something that has stuck with me as far as I've played. (Through world 3, but I missed a lot of pieces. Eight, I think.) I've never seen anything like the rewind that is the gameplay's biggest draw, and they sure came up with some really cool (and hard!) puzzles. For example, there are objects that are invulnerable to rewind, and you have to figure out how to get them where you need them to be. The story is there, but I haven't gotten far enough for it to mean that much. I can tell that it's definitely going somewhere, but for now I'm just trying to get that oh-so-annoying puzzle piece. It is innovative, immersive (amazingly so for an indie XBLA game), and, most importantly, FUN. I'd like to know how long it took how many people with how much money to make this game, especially compared to blockbusters like Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, or Mass Effect 2. (Man. Someone needs to make some new franchises!)

I'll do a full review covering specific aspects, but that's all on Braid for now, going to go play it some more! These sort of in between posts are for first impressions, what I'm thinking as I'm playing. (How in the world do I get up there?) :)

I do want to mention something I never realized before, after my last post. You can't write everything. Even if you write everything you think of while you're writing, you'll think of something else. You may forget something you were going to put. I can't believe I forgot to talk about Heavy Rain, as it so happens it was perfect, absolutely perfect for my argument. I'd also like to mention that the defining characteristic of games as art is that it allows you, as the gamer, to finish it. The artist, the developers in this case, give you the restraints and then set you loose. I bet some people would be a joy to watch compared to others. There's a certain beauty, I think, to watching a master at work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Video games as art (And Splinter Cell: Conviction)

Meant to post something on Splinter Cell yesterday, didn't get around to it. That'll be at the end, so you can just skip to the big heading if you want to.

Yeah, wall of text. Come on, read it, it's only like 10 minutes. (Depending on how much I DO ramble.)

Anyways, Roger Ebert from the Chicago Sun Times posted an article responding to a presentation responding (partially) to his original article, saying that games can never be art. (Important difference from ARE not art) It might help if you read the article, and maybe watch the presentation. The video was 15 minutes, but it wasn't that bad.

I disagree. My opinion is that video games can be art, but often, even most of the time, aren't art. Go play a flash game, just any random old flash game. First random one on Newgrounds, armorgames, whatever your preferred site. Was that art? I doubt it.

Anyways, the definition of art that stood out to me was something that tried to elicit particular emotions. Now, games have always elicited emotions- you think this era was the first time people started throwing controllers at their TVs? Not so much. I mean the deeper, more elemental emotions. Love, sadness, triumph, wrath, vengeance. I also think that art can make you think. Do you think that Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, or Atlas Shrugged, is art? Their main point is to get her philosophy across. (And that communism is bad and we will lose our individuality, but w/e)

There have been a very few movies that make me do either of these, but books, a much more established art form, do it pretty often. For example: Starship Troopers. Read it, it's a lot better than the movie. (at least from what I've heard.) Heinlein makes some very interesting philosophical points, from democracy is stupid and idealistic to what happens if people settle on a planet without enough radiation for evolution. (This from a book written in like the 50's. Golden age of Science Fiction.) Next example: Harry Potter, especially the later books. NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, has made me feel the way the later ones do. If you don't feel something at the end of the sixth book, (no I won't tell you) YOU HAVE NO SOUL (or heart, whichever). People have told me this about shows and movies, but this... man.

OK, back on topic. Have you played any games that make you do either of these things? I have. Sure, most of them don't. The most emotion Halo (MP) makes me think is a fleeting anger, (WTH man, you can't do that!) or an equally fleeting triumph. (DID YOU SEE THAT!!!) Personally, I don't think that qualifies as art.

But some do. Horror games make their money on it, but it's debatable that fear is really an emotion. RPGs the most, but that's their nature, and mine. Bioshock, Mass Effect. I haven't actually played Bioshock, but from what I've heard, it's defining characteristic, is loneliness and oppressiveness. Oh, and there's that heart wrenching cry the Little Sisters give.

Mass Effect. I could go on and on.. I'll try not to. There's a few instances I'd like to point out first. (More experience with ME1, so I'll stick to that... maybe) Anyways, when you first become a Spectre and take command of the Normandy, you make a speech. It can be toned in different ways, but along with the music, it is very stirring. (BTW, in my opinion Bioware's best moment of writing. Probably at least a dozen different possibilities, and it still sounds awesome) Second, Virmire, the STG commander's speech. "We Will Hold the Line!" It wouldn't work nearly as well without the believability and consistency of the universe Bioware had crafted throughout the rest of the game. Next, the end of Virmire (favorite part of ME1). You have to choose between two of your squad members. It feels weighty, it makes sense, it makes me so mad, so sad, and it's just awesome. (This reminds me of a discussion I had contrasting ME1 and ME2, but that's for another time.) Lastly, the final battle, and scene. The sheer TRIUMPH I feel when I down the big bad, the feeling of "oh ****" when you see the piece of debris heading for where you are, the disbelief when it hits and you think Shepard died, and then the relief and... I don't know what, when he climbs the rubble and poses. (Accidentally, but he does.) Your emotions ride the roller coaster, and it leaves you wanting more. (Games do that. It ends just when it's gotten AWESOME. Can we make a petition for better middle parts in games? Scratch that, in all forms of entertainment?)
(Oops. yeah, that was long.)

In conclusion, I believe that games are their own form of art, and that when people come to appreciate and believe that they will achieve things they had only imagined. For now, they are an incredible bridge between sports and other games, and true art.

... Now for a segment that needs a title. Not a review, or I could say that... ANYWAYS.


Main thing I've heard: This isn't Splinter Cell. Personally, I prefer that, but I think that's a bad thing. (no, it's not a contradiction. Think about it.) Series have a certain feel, and changing that DOES NOT WORK. Change the gameplay radically, and you will pay. (there are exceptions, it is true.) There are people that loved splinter cell for what it was, stashing bodies and long stealth parts included. You should respect that, and your own games, and continue on in that tradition.

Now why I (extra caps) would prefer it. To be blunt, I didn't like the small parts of previous Splinter Cells I played. I kind of sucked at it. Stealth is good, but I prefer it as to how it relates with combat and individuals- stealth kills, sneaking past a guard room, etc., as opposed to the ENTIRE BASE. I don't WANT everyone to know I'm coming if I don't carefully strategize who I'm going to kill first so no one hits the alarm, as well as avoiding the cameras and various other traps. Conviction seems to hit that sweet spot: plenty of awesome stealth kills, but accepting the inevitable firefights, and also accepting the fact that you WILL DIE if you fight a dozen people with machine guns using a pistol. It sounds and looks fun, and I'll probably give it a rent some time.

Now, off to play Braid. Maybe I'll review it in a few days or so. Not sure how long it is... Yes, I will do reviews, it just kind of helps if you've actually, you know, PLAYED THE GAME! (You just lost it, and so did I.)

P.S Comments are helpful. I suck at titles, so if anyone think of any ideas for segment names, or even the segment itself, please tell me! Thanks in advance.

P.P.S Don't worry, this was a really long post. I had a lot to say, and I wanted to get the Conviction part out today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I like

Major genres and what I like.

FPS: Second on my list of what to get.
Just had to get the major one out of the way. They're fun, but most of the time they don't scratch that itch I get. I want some huge, overarching game that seems to mean something, and you just don't get that in most FPSes. The multiplayer for the best ones is really good, though.
P.S. just put Third person shooters in here too, they're not that different.

RPG: What I live for.
Ah, here we go. I like western RPGs and JRPGs, but the latter hasn't been winning any points with me lately. I liked the old systems, when it was turn based and you could actually tell everyone what to do. I used to like traditional RPGs like Neverwinter Nights 2, (More recently, Dragon Age: Origins) but my taste for them seems to be spoiled by my absolute favorite games- Action RPGs. The open-world ones (TY, Bethesda) are pretty good, (scratch that, awesome!) but I need more of a reason to explore. So, that pretty much leaves Mass Effect and Bioshock. Haven't played the latter, just happened to get ME1 first... and ME is awesome. Will get Bioshock, though. I just love the stories.

Action: When I see a game that catches my eye.
Pure action games are a lot more single-minded in what makes them work. If you have a good combat mechanic, you have at least a decent game, and if you don't... well, that's not a good thing. I like playing them, but I'm not going to dump a couple hundred hours into it like I could a good multiplayer FPS or a good RPG.

RTS: When the right one comes out.
Generally have cool overarching stories, and the most complex gameplay I know of. They can be hard, repetitive, or just long, but when done just right they can be amazingly fun. I tend to go for the less realistic ones like Warcraft and Starcraft. (Yes, I like Blizzard, despite my extreme lack of motivation to play WoW)

Platformers: Mario is reliably good, but other than that... dunno.
Yay for jumping on random platforms! There are pure platformers, like Mario, and then there's action platformers like Ratchet and Clank. Pure platformers are good for small doses, like half an hour at a time, with no connection to previous playing, whereas action platformers generally have more of a coherent story, where it actually might become more of an experience instead of just mindlessly jumping to the end. Not that I dislike Mario, far from it.

Sports: I'll get one occasionally. Not every year, though.
... If you like sports, get the game for that sport. (If you don't mind it ripping into shreds more often than not. Ok, I'm being uncharitable, they do a decent job nowadays.) Otherwise, don't. Simple.

P.S. BTW, my favorite compliment for a game is that it's epic. I mean this in the literal sense of the word. FPSes, are rarely epic, and the multiplayer almost never is.

Tell me any major ones I missed, and I'll talk about them, too. And remember, feel free to disagree, or give suggestions, or anything else! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I think

Here's a general rundown of my opinions of the major consoles, handhelds, and the PC:

PC: Best thing to play video games on, IMO. It has better graphics, more precise controls, and is just all round better, except for one thing. Simplicity. I tend to get RPGs and other single-player games on here.

X360: Best multiplayer. So much simpler than on the PC... matchmaking, choose match, ok ready to go! Instead of painstakingly finding the right server... PSN is good, too, but there's just way more people on Xbox Live. Until recently, the 360 had better exclusives, too, (they still get some, but mostly shared with PC) but the PS3 is making a HUGE comeback. I get my multiplayer, esp. shooters, and action games like Assassin's Creed. Also, for some reason I feel like getting Bioshock on it. Atmosphere is better on my 50'', I guess.

PS3: Dang, I want one. It has a higher hardware potential (graphics esp.) than the 360, and has come out with some REALLY good exclusives lately, including Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, the generally accepted GotY last year, and God of War III (can't call it GoWIII any more...), one of the contenders for that award this year. (I think Mass Effect 2 is going to win, personally)

Wii: Full of squandered potential. Nintendo's hardcore games don't even pretend to use the motion controls that much, (except for Metroid Prime, I've heard) so it's up to the 3rd person games. Sadly, most of them just haven't cut it. Motion Plus is a TON better, but most developers seem to have moved on to bigger and better things. For now, it's just something to play the next Mario and Zelda on.

DS: See above, except less hardcore Nintendo games. (not counting the everpresent Pokemon) There ARE quite a few really good games on here, but they're hard to find. Square Enix seems to do quite well on here, with half a dozen or so FF games, and the new Kingdom Hearts. (Still haven't played that...)

PSP: Exactly what it's called, Playstation Portable. It uses discs (sort of), and it even has a control stick. I just prefer the Gameboy's style of games. Which leads to...

iPhone: I just had to put it in here, say something about it. Ultimate time-killer. Nothing as satisfying on any of the other consoles, even the DS, just a bunch of games that I could play clones of (or even the same game) for free online. Flash FTW!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What I have

Simple intro post, what consoles and games I have.

I have a really good PC (I played ME2 on top settings) which is my main platform, with ME 1 and 2, DA:O, Fallout 3, Oblivion, BF2 and BF2142, Civ IV, and various other games.

X360 that I got last fall, all I have for it (for now) is Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed. Biggest things I'd like to get for it include Borderlands, Bioshock 1 and 2, and Bad Company 2.

I have a Wii with casual and hardcore games, like Wii Sports (Resort), Wii Fit (plus), Twilight Princess, SSBB, Super Mario Galaxy, and The Force Unleashed. Oh yeah, and Blazing Angels. I'd like to try some of the 3rd person games that have come out, like the Conduit and Red Steel 2.

Nintendo DS with FFIII, FFXII Revenant Wings, Eragon (yes it does suck), and Scribblenauts. (Somewhere, I can't seem to find it.)

I also have a PS2 that I occasionally play, a GCN and an N64 that are both still hooked up.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Okay, here goes nothing.

Hey everyone, and thanks for reading this. This blog is where I'm going to be dumping all my thoughts about the games I'm playing, looking at, or paying attention to (and occasionally some other stuff). I will attempt to do a weekly segment with my thoughts on major game releases, and there will be more in-depth posts concerning what I'm playing at the moment. Sometimes I'll be on the same game for weeks, sometimes only a couple days. (Finished Mass Effect 2 essentially in a weekend, but I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins for.. a couple weeks now? Just depends.)

The next couple weeks I'll be doing intro posts, saying my favorite games, preferred genres, my opinions of the consoles, and just a general spread of things to help you get to know me as a gamer. Just bear with me as I try to figure out how I'm doing this, and hopefully you'll enjoy reading along with me and get some information to boot.

Feel free to post any comments of what you think, any suggestions, or pretty much anything else. This is new for me, too!