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

2 May 2008

Bon, pas de GTA IV pour ce weekend. Prévisible.

3 May

J’envie ceux qui n’ont pas GTA IV et peuvent profiter du beau temps. (Moi de toute façon avec le printemps je ne peux plus respirer dehors.)

5 May

Resisting the impulse to throw myself at a police car and pull the driver out.

6 May

The cars on the street are so shiny and I’d only have to press ‘Y’…

Prototype delayed

Someone’s been playing GTA IV. And crying.

Mirror’s Edge

First gameplay video, and it does look as nice as the previews and interviews made it out to be. It looks like, despite the whole first-person running and jumping and rolling, they somehow managed to make an immersive camera that doesn’t necessarily makes you sick — unlike GTA IV, which isn’t even first-person but still gives me a headache after a couple of hours.

But, of course, that doesn’t stop me from playing GTA, and it doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy Mirror’s Edge; it’s the gameplay that counts. Still, looks like it may be quite fun if the acrobatics are a little more skill-based than in Assassin’s Creed.

7 May

I’m in love with the GTA IV helicopters.

If you’re going for “Under the radar” in GTA IV you should know that the last bridge in the west is kinda buggy; only half of it counts.

Dark City would be a great license for a GTA-like MMO where the world would change slightly every Monday morning.

8 May

“I Think I’ve Been Staring At Mini-Maps Too Much”

That is, actually, the biggest criticism I have for GTA IV: they’ve wanted to emphasize immersion so much, they made all the HUD parts so small and out of the way that you have to focus on it intensively to work it out — and you end up spending the first ten hours looking almost exclusively at the mini-map and not enjoying the amazing graphics at all, only looking up every few seconds to see where the traffic is, which isn’t just annoying but also gives me headaches. Of course it gets better when you start to get a handle of the city, and when you unlock Algonquin and its orthogonal streets, but it’s a real shame when a simple arrow on the screen would have worked so much better. Instead, the first few hours of driving are actually old-school, top-down Grand Theft Auto, played in a circle of 100 pixels or so.

Race Driver Grid (360 demo)

I had great hopes for this game: Dirt’s engine adapted to circuit races (and refined for a year), that was promising. The graphics are as good as expected, the physics model seems perfectly realistic, and the demo is too short to really test the artificial intelligence but I never saw it fail — and with any other racing game you’d only have to take one wide turn to stumble against its failings.

So this is very close to the ideal racing game… yet there’s a “but”: you can’t feel when the car is about to drift. With traction control enabled, no problem (although what’s the point of having such a realistic engine if you’re going to have assists on?); but if you turn it off you just can’t feel the wheels losing grip — no sound (which in general is the game’s weakness), no rumble (and that’s a pity, because the San Francisco jumps, on the other hand, feel more realistic than anything I’ve played). Sure, a real car does not warn with noises and vibrations before it drifts, but you feel it through other ways, and that’s the one point where a simulation ought to step away from pure realism.

Back to GTA IV it is, then; I’ve never had this much fun on multiplayer races.

9 May

Killzone 2

I’m a few days late on this one, but that’s because I waited for GameTrailers to post the video; I’ve decided to boycott GameVideos until the download links are back. I like to open my videos in QuickTime Player rather than having Flash hog 95% of my CPU, thanks.

So, yeah, new images, and, uh, there you go. They’re photorealistic and all. Sad how that fails to impress nowadays.

Lord of the Rings: Conquest

Huh, yeah. That looks pretty empty, a bit like Demigod. Which is a shame, when the Lord of the Rings MMO manages to be so pretty and lush.

10 May

Baja

I’m a little tired of believing trailers that promise a super-realistic physics model in racing games, so I’ll just say that there is indeed a place for an off-road game with a less arcade flavor. A small place, though — I think the market is more interested in Motorstorm than in a simulation.

Gears of War 2

Uh… huh. Except for the detail of an army of Locusts on the ground, the images remind me a lot of the train sequences which were definitely not my favorite part of the first game.

11 May

Tangle (OS X)

Si vous avez des tendances maniaco-compulsives, vous allez me maudire : Tangle simule le processus douloureux du démêlage d’un cordon d’écouteurs. Il y a des points à l’écran, reliés entre eux par deux lignes ou plus, et il faut les ranger de façon à ce que les lignes ne se coupent pas entre elles. Comme tous les bons puzzles, le principe est très simple mais la difficulté augmente progressivement et on se retrouve assez vite dans le registre des jeux qui rendent fou.

Je me vois mal dépenser 20$ pour quelque chose d’aussi simple (algorithmiquement et graphiquement parlant), mais les 60 minutes de démo suffisent déjà pour s’arracher quelques cheveux.

Pour info, j’ai arrêté après le niveau 12, parce que je ne suis pas assez maso pour tenir la distance.

15 May

Lego Indiana Jones

Huh. The futuristic environments in Star Wars, or Batman’s urban settings, that’s one thing, but isn’t the first thing you see, when you watch this video, that Lego bricks don’t really work in the Indiana Jones jungle?

Rock Revolution

You can’t really blame Konami: the rivalry between Harmonix and Activision showed them there was nothing wrong with releasing a Guitar Hero clone — or, at least, nothing that could land you in front of a civil court. But, still, to release a new music game on console today… you mustn’t have too much pride and self-esteem, must you?

Silent Hill Homecoming

You’ve got to be kidding. I thought Alone in the Dark was the worst you could do in 2008 when game designers don’t know what to do with all the pixels and shaders there are in a next-gen console, but it’s actually been topped; Silent Hill looks even that much more like a sixth-grader’s claymation movie.

16 May

I’ll pay $10 for a downloadable Airwolf chopper in GTA IV.

22 May

Prince of Persia: Prodigy

Nothing to say except… Wow.

24 May

“On Euphoria”

Interesting article by a game developer about the middleware that handles Niko Bellic’s movement and makes Force Unleashed troopers grasp each other in stupid aerial ballets. I’d been wondering a lot about Euphoria, and about why it isn’t used by more games (regardless of price, which is pretty much irrelevant compared to current game budgets), so reading a developer’s take is enlightening.

It’s not engine plug-n-play friendly. A programmer from Natural Motion supposedly needs to be embedded in your team for around six months.

27 May

“Sony Skipping Afrika For Europe”

There will be a day when Sony finally realizes that the whole “independent territories” thing harms them more than it helps them (and when has it ever helped them?). Especially when all Sony Europe or Sony America can do is refuse a product — but not have much positive influence on the design and evolution of the PlayStation, as you’ll remember from Phil Harrison’s frustration with the lack of social features on the console.

For the record, though, I’ve never had any expectations at all for Afrika, so I’m neither disappointed nor surprised.

30 May

Prince of Persia

I wonder if they did the trailer before they decided to Okamize the game’s graphics; as it stands now, the video looks pretty cool, but doesn’t have so much to do with the actual game.

Far Cry 2

It’s a nice jungle; I find the images both more cinematographic and more “touristic” than the Crysis videos. I feel like going on a boat ride on this little river.

31 May

Fracture

I find that the artistic direction of trailers is often a good-enough indication of how good a game will be — remember the model/soldier in the Haze teasers. Now, the Fracture voiceover confirms the doubts I’ve always had about the concept as well as the gameplay.

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