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

1 September 2009

“Remastered Versions Of God of War And God of War II Coming To PS3 This Holiday”

Both games have been remastered and will feature anti-aliased, 720p HD graphics, running at 60 frames per second.

Excellent. It was a no-brainer, especially with the PS3 Slim not getting backwards compatibility again, but you never know how stupid Sony can be. Now it does without saying that, if they do the same for the Team Ico game, I’m sold.

5 September

Forza Motorsport 3

Damn, I want that game. But I can’t believe the livery editor (second video) still isn’t able to wrap a vinyl over the whole body, making you edit each side of the car separately and take care of the stitches manually. Not in 2009.

Also, I can’t believe the dashboard on the Reventón.

I spent the night doing 30 of GTA IV’s 50 stunt jumps and… today it has forgotten all about them.

13 September

“Dungeons & Dragons Online Reboots as Free-to-Play Game”

Massively multiplayer online game Dungeons & Dragons Online has received a content reboot and is now free to play starting Wednesday.

I wonder why more fledgling MMOs don’t try switching to free-to-play for a while before they close their doors. You’ve got a name, something of a user base, universe and game design, so wouldn’t that be a better last chance rather than throwing it all to the trash?

Guess the publishers would rather keep trying to get paying subscribers all the way until it’s too late to salvage anything anymore.

Just Cause 2

That looks much more polished than the first game. I think I want to play it.

16 September

“GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Preview: Crimes For The Crazy Rich”

Damn, I’m gonna want to buy this one. Despite the inevitable low-brow gay jokes, and my pledge to boycott GTA IV DLC after they screwed up multiplayer with the first expansion.

21 September

APB

Looking better and better; the game looks to be the essence of what I liked most about GTA IV’s multiplayer, and I just can’t wait.

23 September

Wolfenstein (360 demo)

Just like when I watched the videos, I’m not particularly impressed with the graphics, and the magical thingamajig is more of an annoying gimmick than anything else, as expected — of course you’d want to use the special vision all the time, because the artificial restriction is annoying (I hear that Batman gets that bit right, and doesn’t force you to enjoy the original graphics if you’re only interested in your kill score), but if you’re gonna have to switch it on and off all the time, it should at least be very immediately accessible. That is, the exact opposite of having it on the D-pad. How about using magical vision only when the right stick is pressed down? That would make sense.

But what I didn’t expect, because I didn’t like the art direction, and even though it had been announced by the reviews, is that the shooter mechanics are fine. The weapons feel good, and you gotta love a game that puts you behind a really powerful machine gun for two minutes and sends enemy cannon fodder by the dozen (I feel like games usually give you a machine gun to face stronger enemies, but mowing down a bunch foot soldiers is so much more fun).

I think I’d enjoy playing the game, but I’d buy it used, and probably play with a walkthrough, to get rid of the stupid invisible puzzles.

24 September

I might owe an apology to Forza 2’s physics model. I just didn’t master gamepad precision at the time.

Forza Motorsport 3 (360 demo)

Well, that’s not much of a surprise: the game looks pretty much perfect. The visuals and sounds are spot-on (right now I’m letting the game race itself in the background, and it really feels like there’s a race running on TV, with better camera work and minus the obnoxious commentary — actually, I want to be able to set that as a screensaver), the physics feel more realistic than ever, and the streamlined menu system, while obviously simplified for the demo, already shows its qualities.

As it happens, the two things I’m least convinced with are the two prominent bullet points on Forza 3’s list of additions: the cockpit view, and instant rewind. The cockpit view feels claustrophobic, but that may be due to my playing on a non-widescreen monitor; more importantly, turning your head requires inconvenient precision with the right stick, and I’m still clamoring for a game to try turning the pilot’s head automatically when I turn the wheel — as long as you don’t prove me otherwise, I’ll say that should be the way to go.

As for instant rewind, never minding the one time it bugged (and wouldn’t rewind further than ten seconds), the big problem is that you can only rewind by chunks; you can’t actually decide exactly where you want to take control back, and that’s just a little inconvenient if you end up rewinding to a spot where you had to hold the wheel just so, and the brakes just so, etc., and you lose control again in the middle of a turn (I’m not sure if the game engine tries to intelligently decide at which point to let you travel back in time, but if it does, it fails).

I didn’t try the bullshit auto-brake assist, but the game is pretty fun with all other assists turned on, and it’s super realistic with all assists turned off (I’ll just assume that “manual + clutch” is not intended for gamepad players, because having to press the left bumper to switch gears is just about unplayable). Unlike Forza 2, where stuff like ABS felt like it was a physical simulation of the real thing (skid, let go, skid, let go, skid, let go, only faster than the driver can react — useful to avoid an accident on the highway, but not so inefficient on a race track), the assists here leave the game completely playable — and it looks like even the automatic gear switching won’t penalize your performance too much (which won’t stop me from complaining that you can’t force a gear change when you want to). I didn’t expect Forza’s developers to understand how to make their game more accessible to a general audience (to make up for the disappearance of Project Gotham Racing), but it looks like they might have — except you can’t really drift unless you turn off most assists, and then it gets… harder, obviously.

As for the demo itself, it’s a little limited: the track is gorgeous, but feels small (mostly because it’s cramped, making it hard to overtake opponents), the game is limited to two-lap races for some reason, and there’s no online mode. But the game didn’t really need a big demo anyway. (And it’s 1.25 GB already as it is.) That game is gonna be a must-buy.

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