Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I want to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

This has got to improve upon Twilight Princess....  At least you'd think it would.

It might not become the next best Zelda game, but it'll certainly match the standards set by previous Zeldas.  With development started and finished on the Wii, there'll have to be some stunning visuals and gameplay.

I want to play Metroid: Other M

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but I'm truly intrigued by what outside, third-party studios do with first-party Nintendo properties.

Metroid: Other M looks great because, while I love the Metroid gameplay, I've always wanted a more cinematic and guided Metroid game.  This is easily one of the biggest reasons to buy a Wii this fall.

I want to play Donkey Kong Country Returns

Donkey Kong Land (for the Game Boy) was another of the first games I owned and played (almost) religiously.  I loved it!  Donkey Kong Country Returns already has that going for it.

In addition, Retro Studios is doing the work, it looks like there's a ton of action on screen, and co-op play for Jenna and I.

Another key contributing factor to my desire to play Donkey Kong Country Returns?  NO MORE WATER LEVELS.

I want to play Kirby's Epic Yarn

I would be remiss if I didn't want to play Kirby's Epic Yarn later this fall.

When I first got my Game Boy back in 1993, Kirby's Dream Land was one of the two games I got with it (Yoshi was the second).  I'll always have a soft spot for Kirby, except for in Super Smash Bros.  I hate the little pink bastard in those games.

I want to play FlingSmash

FlingSmash was completely off my radar until today.  Today?  It looks like a fun game I could probably get several hours out of, several more in co-operative play with Jenna.

Wii want you back...

I sold my Wii.  So long!  I got 200 bucks for it.  Sold the console, a second controller and nunchuck and Super Mario Galaxy.  It broke my heart.  I had to format the drive, effectively wiping the purchasing account with it.  So long virtual console games and points!

Now I want a Wii again!  A black Wii at that.  How far away am I from getting the money together and taking the plunge... AGAIN?!

Apparently Nintendo held a fall preview in New York yesterday.  I wasn't there, but hearing about it from various sources has me viewing trailer after trailer on Youtube.  I'll be posting trailers of games that I would want to play (should I ever buy another Wii) all day today.  Check them out and tell me what you think!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Street Fighter X Tekken Announced

Looks like Capcom knows what gamers want.  More crossovers!  This little number was announced during Comic-con.  Here's the video.  Namco just couldn't turn down that sweet crossover cash either!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Multiplayer Trailer

I originally thought Assassin's Creed Brotherhood would be a host of unmanageable, unnecessary, and unwanted multiplayer modes, strapped to the back of a single player experience that would feel essential before purchase and mundane afterwards.

Unfortunately, that attitude is betraying me as I watch this trailer.  Who knows!  Maybe Assassin's Creed Multiplayer can be done in a way that is both exciting and fun.  What do you think?

Modern Game Marketing: You got Halo: Reach in my controller!

One of the less-noticeable marketing ploys is the special edition controller.  No better way to play Halo than with a Halo T-Shirt, Halo boxer shorts, Halo cereal, and OH!  Don't forget the Halo controller.

This little piece of selling-out will run you $60.

That's the price of a game.

A whole game.  Never mind if you're buying the ultra-special-edition of Halo: Reach.  Shelling out for the controller will probably make your hands feel dirtier than usual, despite the fact that you had to carry the box with the die-cast figures out of Gamestop because they didn't have a bag big enough for you.

Xbox.com revealed this little number before quickly pulling it back.  God forbid we spend money on more software this fall.  Instead, we'll need this lightly reskinned controller to make guests feel inferior while we enjoy multiplayer.

Modern Game Marketing is a series on how new games, and the corporations behind them, get you to want them.
To read more in PLAY READ WRITE's Modern Game Marketing series, check out the tag!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Metacritic Gets it Wrong

While I've been thrilled to see my review scores on Metacritic, I can't say the same for their guesswork on my Resonance of Fate review score. I gave the game a D-, but I hardly think that my review actually translated to a numerical score of 25. What do you think?

ME2 DLC To Tackle the Shadow Broker

As a series staple, the Shadow Broker has played a background part to most of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.  The mysterious information network even held Commander Shepard's body for a time after his death at the start of Mass Effect 2.

For whatever reason, representatives of the Shadow Broker have been merely side characters.  Management types have been conspicuously absent.  Upcoming DLC will rectify this, as Liara T'soni will be joining Commander Shepard and his team to confront this shady organization in The Lair of the Shadow Broker.

I have to admit, I'm a little behind on the ME2 DLC front.  I have yet to purchase the Overlord DLC, but a second pack would certainly justify a 1600 point card dedicated to adding these experiences to my current Mass Effect 2 playthrough.
Four new characters have been revealed for Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 in honor of Comic-con: Chun-li, Trish (Devil May Cry), Doctor Doom, and Super-Scrull.

Post Script (11:45 PM): So maybe Comic-con means there'll be a MvC3 trickle of reveals; Ametarasu (Okami) and Thor also join the fray.

Post Script ( 07/22/10 12:30 PM): A trickle is right; Dormammu and Viewtiful Joe appear to be on the brink of announcement.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The iPhone Sucks for Gaming

Not reviewing iPhone games for quite some time gave me a sense of clarity today. I wrote up a review for Soccer Sudoku 2010, an app that dresses up the tired Sudoku game in a World Cup, for Game Revolution today. All of my previous writing about iPhone apps can be found at theiphoneappreview.com and here at PLAY READ WRITE.

Thinking back about all that criticism, I think I've gone FAR too easy on iPhone apps. In fact, my misaligned mulling of iPhone apps in general falls far below how I actually feel about playing games on my iPhone. Maybe I pity those developers struggling to make a dime off the back of a zeitgeist that only taps the Top 25 button and leaves their expeditions in mobile gaming at what's near the top of that list.

I feel like every gaming experience I've had on the iPhone has been a spectacularly shallow commercial endeavor. I don't pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I think I'd be more involved with my iPhone if there were more games (and apps) of any real value.

Anyways, I'm sick of Twitter and Facebook integration. I'm sick of notifications that never seem to work, and I'm sick of the constant reskinning of the same game by different developers hoping to play off of whatever is buzz worthy in a given month.

Can anyone point me to a decent iPhone game?

What is a "Fallout 3?"

This is really late, but I hope there's some semblance of relevance left in what I wrote in response to an old (very old) Kotaku feature now.

Leigh Alexander has an interesting piece up on Kotaku about trying to explain video games to non-gamers. She certainly sets the bar high for herself in attempting to open the discussion with laymens-terms-Fallout-3, an arduous task that is sure to become a new olympic sport of words.

Anyways, Fallout 3 is obviously (/sarcasm) a First Person Shooter Role Playing Game with a morality and combat systems overlay set in a postapocalyptic Washington DC.

Wow, what mouthful. I'm beginning to think about Luke Plunkett's (also Kotaku) feature on attempting to define video games in more approachable genre terms. That description of Fallout 3 could sure benefit from a simpler label... say, Science Fiction? Perhaps this difficulty is, in fact, generated entirely by gamers themselves. Maybe we try to insulate ourselves in our genres in a weird sort of meta-delusional-escapism.

Despite these subconcious efforts, gamers are also constantly arguing that their medium is art and that it should be taken seriously. So what do you want then? As games mature and male themselves taken seriously through their content and interaction with the audience, they're ultimately going to have to do a good job of explaining themselves too. Until games can do it for themselves, gamers will have to get better at being the ambassadors.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

REVIEW: Limbo for the Xbox 360

Some people just don't get it. Games can certainly hold a quantifiably artistic merit, certainly in some of their more passive aspects of design. Inherently, some people just won't "get" Limbo. Critics, myself included (if I've earned that title), will laude it for its design, visuals, emotional connection, and presentation.

All of those compliments are well deserved. Praise won't go unjustly to Playdead's little platforming, puzzling title. With the lead-off Summer of Arcade responsibilities thrust upon its shoulders, Limbo's review scores will be a blessing. Unfortunately, I don't see the title reaching the well-deserved sales numbers that would define Limbo as the second coming of Braid.

Still, it's deserving of the title, certainly moreso than P.B. Winterbottom. Limbo thrusts the player into its plot, unforgiving in it's puzzles, a complete lack of tutorial, a total vacuous and nightmarish feeling enthralls in soundtrack, visuals, and controls. It's hard not too mention Limbo and without paying regards to its hauntingly sparse atmosphere. Where every game tries to be louder, brighter and give the player a higher score (see Bulletstorm etc.), Limbo relishes its languid and withholding aesthetic.

I could help but feel like the game was chuckling good humoredly at me as I fiddled with puzzles, repeatedly finding the way I was looking at it to be wrong. Instead of taking every chance to mock my ignorance, Limbo would produce a solution almost on its own. At least, that's how effortless it would seem. Not since Tetris has a learning curve been so smooth.

Needless to say, its easy to fall for Limbo's devious simplicity. Successes feel extremely high, while lows never push the player to walk away from the game, much less do any frustration fueled controller tossing. Still, I would ask for a bit more. The ending comes as a surprise, not necessarily in terms of plot, but in that I wanted to solve more puzzles and traverse more land.

That's truthfully the biggest complaint I have about Limbo. Oftentimes, it's best to leave us hanging on, barely satisfied in what we've had, satiating to further the experience. Limbo surely does leave me wanting more.

Kinect has been priced at $150. Check out my post over at GameRevolution here.

Soccer Sudoku 2010 Review on GR

I was assigned an iPhone App review from Game Revolution. I haven't reviewed an iPhone app in quite some time so this was a difficult task to take on. In a straightforward sense, I think I got really tired of the iPhone app market.

In a less straightforward sense, I think it's just too goddamn hard to process these small, insignificant "games" in comparison to the kinds of games I've been working on for Game Revolution. Frankly, I think the App Store is a death trap honestly. It's too bad that so many talented, creative developers have to be turned away from "real" game development (big budget or not). The job market certainly doesn't help this situation.

Anyways, check out my Soccer Sudoku 2010 Review over at Game Revolution, and look for more thoughts on iPhone gaming tomorrow.