Once upon a time I made a blog about video games. And this is what's left of it (mostly tweets).

8 January 2008

Turning Point

First gameplay video, I think, from the game that pits you as a construction worker saving New York from the nazis.

The idea could be interesting, but I find the graphics below average (okay, there are lots of buildings, but the lighting is meh) and it’s not a big deal but switching from first- to third-person every time you climb a ladder or crate annoys me.

Withholding judgment until I see a proper HD video.

10 January

Patapon gameplay videos are downright hypnotic.

11 January

Heavy Rain

Hmm. A month ago, I was laughing out loud when Quantic Dream announced that, even though their “Casting” trailer from a couple years back was still imperfect, they had since then made so much progress that they had actually conquered the Uncanny Valley — the zone where virtual characters are rendered so photorealistically that you brain only sees what’s wrong and just rejects the image.

Today, the first new images coming out of the studio are more than limited — two close-ups on a character’s eyes — but I’m intrigued; they do look good. What if they’d actually pulled it off?

12 January

Drew Karpyshyn: Mass Effect: Revelation

I loved the game’s universe (more than I liked the writing itself, or the gameplay), so when I saw the prologue novel was only five euros on Amazon it was pretty much a no-brainer to order it, no matter how broke I am these days.

Turns out you can really recognize the author’s style from the game, in that it’s very bland. And even awkward at times — I’m willing to chalk some of the sub-par writing, and obvious lack of proof-reading, up to deadline constraints, but there’s a clear lack of cleverness in the writing, or… well, literary talent.

As for the story, it’s absolutely pointless, doesn’t bring that much insight into the overarching plot or the world, and is most definitely not worthy of a being published as a book. But then, it was only five euros. And it probably worked better as a teaser (it was published before the game was released) than an extension for people eager to spend some more time in this universe.

 

I did love that, even in the novel, elevators are everywhere — and slow as hell.

14 January

The Devil sold Microsoft and funded PopCap Games with the money.

18 January

Freaked out by hearing Crackdown’s narrator in a video of Supreme Commander.

22 January

Alone in the Dark

We’ve finally gone from the CG trailer to gameplay videos, and… uh, I’m not quite sure why the characters and some of the locations seem to be made of clay. It’s original, for sure, but so much for immersion.

There had never been anything in the previous trailers to make me think something interesting was going to happen here, and that’s definitely not changing.

24 January

Devil May Cry 4 (360 demo)

From what little I’d seen of the previous Devil May Cry games, I wasn’t too hooked; but the videos from this new release intrigued me. Now that I’ve tested the demo, I can confirm the game is everything I expected: I hate the animation, the gameplay from another era, the unnatural controls and the semi-fixed camera that turns 180° from one second to the next like it’s 1999. And even the graphics aren’t that great: there’s been much more interesting stuff among last fall’s releases.

I’ll pass, and wait for God of War III.

25 January

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

More interesting, as far as technical demos go, than a closeup on a pair of eyes; even though the technologies demonstrated here had already been shown earlier, this video includes a lot of real gameplay footage — and it looks gorgeous and fun. And really gorgeous. And seriously fun.

I’m only a little doubtful about the way enemies clasp to each other when projected into the air; I don’t remember seeing such messy aerial ballets in the movies.

26 January

Resistance 2

Pretty cute. And they went away from the first game’s dull palette, which should help a lot. Very promising.

29 January

Tiberium

First video of the Command & Conquer FPS, and a good surprise: not only are the visuals beyond reproach, I’m also interested in the gameplay — and I’d feel bad for making it all about me, but for a “tactical FPS” to entice me with a simple video, even though I’m not particularly good at shooters and any concept of strategy makes me run for my life, the game must have some serious qualities. And/or be too casual for the taste of serious gamers.

30 January

Je ne trouve pas la démo de Katamari, ça vient de moi, ou des blogs qui l’annoncent ?

Démo : Rez HD (360)

Hmm. J’étais impatient que ce jeu arrive sur Xbox Live, depuis le temps que j’entends parler de ce jeu comme d’un classique, mais au final s’il n’y avait pas le buzz je l’aurais probablement complètement oublié dès la démo terminée.

C’est dû en partie au fait qu’il s’agit avant tout d’un shooter sur rails, donc un shooter plutôt rapide, donc quelque chose pour quoi je ne suis franchement pas doué (contrairement à un Tetris-like comme Lumines), mais j’ai aussi le sentiment très fort que le premier niveau est plus un entraînement qu’un avant-goût, et que le jeu devient beaucoup plus cool par la suite, quand ça se complique. Et je me dois donc d’insister sur le fait que la note de trois étoiles s’applique bien à la démo, et probablement pas au jeu lui-même.

Il y a eu une discussion sur les blogs, ces dernières semaines, à propos de ce qui constitue une bonne démo, et tout le monde s’accordait à dire que ce n’est pas une bonne idée de filer le premier niveau en pâture aux joueurs, parce qu’il n’est forcément pas représentatif de tout ce qui se passe d’intéressant par la suite. Malheureusement, presque tous les jeux Live Arcade utilisent ce principe ; certes, la résistance est moins élevée pour cliquer sur un bouton et dépenser 800 points que pour sortir acheter un DVD à 70 € (et si je n’étais pas trop pauvre pour avoir le droit à la parole j’aurais certainement déjà acheté Rez sans me poser trop de questions), mais c’est quand même dommage — et un comble — que le succès des jeux Live Arcade doive autant reposer sur le bouche-à-oreille au final.

Enfin, je me plains, et pendant ce temps il paraît que sur le PlayStation Network ils n’ont pas du tout de démos. Mais, tout ça, c’est parce que Microsoft ne donne pas des points gratuits aux blogueurs pour parler des jeux Live Arcade. Et ça, c’est bête. Pour moi.

Going back to Forza 2 after I’ve gotten used to PGR4 is just unbearable.

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