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

1 May 2009

Flight Control: yeah, right, I’m gonna register with my e-mail address just to post my score to your board.

2 May

Lost Planet 2

Looks like someone has decided to go all in with the Shadow of the Colossus inspiration. Shooting at weak points isn’t as fun as stabbing them, and Shadow owed much of its success to an art direction that bears no comparison to Lost Planet, but the Team Ico has taken so long to even hint at their next game that, at this point, anything goes.

6 May

“Why Richard Garriott Is Suing NCsoft”

I always thought the way he left was weird; that version is indeed more credible.

7 May

Red Steel 2

Evidently they’ve scrapped everything but the name (for its aura of… uh, success), and that’s just as well. Can’t wait to find out how crappy the videos and gameplay will be compared to this great trailer.

“Project Gotham Racing Devs Explain Last Days With “Corporate, Cocky” Microsoft”

We were getting disillusioned with Microsoft and they were getting corporate and cocky as well because of the shift in power between them and Sony.

“Hidden option in Bionic Commando demo”

Capcom has highlighted the fact that there’s a private match option lurking in the Xbox 360-exclusive Bionic Commando multiplayer demo released last week. [It] means you can practice without being killed repeatedly.

Oh, it’s so cute, someone found a bug and Capcom decided it would be announced as a feature. (When they could just have let it morph into messageboard buzz.)

Red Dead Redemption

The creators of GTA IV are making the west wild again.

I’m absolutely not interested in westerns (and Rockstar is dead-to-me anyway for not fixing the griefing and quitting issues of GTA IV’s online mode), but what the hell is that title anyway? Is it about commie cowboys?

12 May

Plants vs. Zombies has nice mechanics, but I can’t see how having to collect resources manually isn’t a fucking drag.

“Users asked to design their own MMO levels make up really easy games”

When City of Heroes released its user-created mission generator, it was mere hours before highly exploitative missions existed. Players quickly found the way to min-max the system, and started making quests that gave huge rewards for little effort. These are by far the most popular missions. [It’s] very hard to find the “fun but not exploitative” missions, because they get rated poorly by users and disappear into the miasma of mediocrity.

This was not what the designers hoped for. Somehow they had convinced themselves that the number of exploiters would be relatively low – certainly not the vast majority of the users.

How quaint. You can be an MMO developer yet remain delusional enough to expect good things from your audience.

13 May

Did they forget to turn the “Xbox Live Gold only” switch off for the Bionic Commando demo?

14 May

“Microsoft Xbox 360 3D webcam tipped for E3 unveil”

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 webcam could be announced as early as at E3 next month, according to the latest sources talking to the WSJ, using 3D camera technology believed to have been acquired when the company bought start-up 3DV Systems.  3DV developed the ZCam, a 60fps 3D-capable camera that is reportedly low-cost, and which can track a gamers movements and gestures.

I remember when I first read about cameras with depth perception (that was for professional video, using depth instead of a green screen to isolate a subject, and it doesn’t seem to have gotten a market). If Microsoft’s gesture interface uses this, then I might go from meh to nerdgasm.

Free Realms

I had heard that it was cutesy, and for a free MMO I expected ugly cutesy with crappy models and an ugly interface — but it’s pretty! It looks like There with more polish and a business model and a point. I want in! (And of course there’s no Mac version.)

16 May

“Ian Bogost’s Guru Meditation comes to iPhone”

Remain motionless and your guru score rises, move a muscle and you crash back to the ground and start again. The iPhone [game] requires the player to hold the device in both hands, and uses the mic as well: in this version, you have to remain silent as well as motionless.

I love the idea; haven’t decided yet if I’m willing to pay $0.99 for it.

19 May

“The Crossing ‘On Hold’”

We ran into an unexpected financial challenge some months ago and we had to put The Crossing on hold

That’s funny — “unexpected” is the last word that comes to mind to describe their failure to produce their revolutionary “crossplayer” game or find a distributor. (Remember, that’s the one where online gamers are supposed to take the place of your enemies in the single-player game. And grief you. In the single-player game.)

That’s too bad, though, because I’d love to play a game like this that takes place in Paris.

Terminator: Salvation

I can’t wait to see that game with my own eyes. The Terminator universe doesn’t work too well for an FPS, or any action game for that matter (the robots are supposed to be somewhat indestructible, if you remember the first movie — even though the game takes place before the more advanced models came out, the robots shouldn’t be too fragile), but the visuals look spot on and the atmosphere could quite be there.

Coming from a studio that developed both GRAW and Wanted, the result could just as well be excellent as it could mediocre, and that’s the kind of thing that can only be judged with a pad in hand.

 

P.S. Ok, maybe not.

“PS3 “Slim” Photos Result In Cease & Desist From Taiwanese Lawyers”

I realized while listening to last week’s Listen Up that the different font for “PS3” is actually the thing that makes those leaked shots look most legit — the Spider-Man font has been ridiculous from the start, and Kutaragi isn’t in the picture anymore, so it’s time to switch to something that looks modern without being a reference to an outdated movie.

Sure, the design is ugly, but the original PS3 was never a looker anyway. And it does feel a bit like a cross between the PS3 and the PS2 slim.

20 May

The next game of Team Ico finally leaked?

I don’t know what to think. That video seems way too fucked up, and too polished, to be a hoax — especially the last third, which looks like a crappy camcorder video that a random YouTube dad shot of their kid playing with their giant birdmonkeydog in the living-room.

Considering that this ought to be an early dev’s-eyes-only video (there’s some rough textures, modeling and aliasing — which would tend to prove that it is indeed coming out live from a game engine) and that one of the main qualities of Shadow of the Colossus was how far it pushed the PS2’s graphics chip beyond its capabilities (and below regular framerate), the final version should be something.

Clearly, the whole point of that video is to demonstrate the creature’s animations, and damn does it look real.

Need for Speed: Nitro

The rendered trailer, also out today, was pretty cool, but I swear this is the worst-looking racing game I’ve seen in fifteen years. Impressive — long live the Wii.

23 May

Heavy Rain

David Cage interview, and new “gameplay” footage — more quick-time events than you could ever imagine. The acting and motion capture aren’t great, facial expressions are awful (weren’t they supposed to be revolutionary?), and “if all four of your characters die you’re encouraged not to restart from a saved game but just accept that’s the way the story unfolded.” This guy is insane. Perfect fit for a Sony exclusive.

Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island

All of a sudden, Burnout Paradise is a buggy racer? Those guys are the other kind of insane — the good kind.

Overlord II

I am currently playing and loving Overlord; the sequel seems to be more of the same with even finer graphics and a couple of nice new mechanics, and that works perfectly for me.

I may or may not actually write a review for Overlord, but you should buy it right away — you can find it for quite cheap these days, and it was worth the full price.

27 May

“Rockstar Announces GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony”

That’s another GTA IV DLC I’m not gonna want to buy — for a different reason than the bikers one. There’s no way in hell that thing isn’t gonna be insultingly offensive. (As opposed to the good kind of offensive, e.g. South Park in its quality years.)

31 May

“PSP Go box design lends more credibility to slim PS3 rumors”

Note the similar font, horizontal band, and general placement of device specs like memory capacity.

Well, there you go.

On the PSP Go, I was waiting until the official announcement to comment, but then I’m gonna have enough stuff to write about when E3 starts, so here it is: I find it rather ugly, without the tech charm of the original PSP; and you don’t need me to tell you that it’s ridiculous it still only has one analog nub.

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