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12:47 AM on 07.22.2008

Some E3 podcasts to keep an ear on

To fans of games, it's rare to hear developers share honest opinions. In the very business-oriented climate of the industry, the individuals responisble for the development and promotion of games are all but required to describe their games as amazing, groundbreaking pieces of art. However, the wonders of E3 (and more importantly, alcohol) lossened the lips of some big names in the games business this past week. As such, I implore you all to give a listen to the following two podcasts. The first, at IGN, is an interview with Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning, which can be found here (you don't need an Insider subscription to listen, FYI). The man is a tremendously slick speaker, and shares facts and history about both his games and the industry as a whole that will be of great interest to fans. Additionally, Lanning pries a silent admission out of the IGN editors interviewing him that, in order to appease publishers, they haven't been as critical of some games as they should have been.

The second podcast that I highly reccommend is the 3-hour long 1UP Yours E3 wrapup show. Though I haven't even finished listening myself, already it's featured talk of double-ended dildos at GDC, a great, honest interview with LittleBigPlanet's lead designer (who hints at a collaboration with Ico designed Fumido Ueda), and bonus rambling by Dennis Dyack. Though it's not as informative as the IGN podcast, it's certainly still interesting. Give them a listen, and tell me what you think.   read


11:41 PM on 06.16.2008

Firefly creator working on new superhero game?

Among the flurry of Microsoft-related leaks that appeared yesterday was news of a new superhero action game, titled Powers and Titans. Though most reports lacked any details on the game, Gamasutra is reporting that Buffy/Angel/Firefly creator Joss Whedon will be providing "input" on it. I imagine that there's quite a large cross-section of fans of both Firefly and video games (Dtoid's own Reverend Anthony included, if his weekly mentions of the show on Podtoid and MGS4 review are any indication), so I pose this question: would you buy a superhero game by Joss Whedon? The man certainly knows the genre, having just wrapped up a much acclaimed run on Astonishing X-Men. Do you think his writing would translate well to a different medium?   read


8:04 PM on 04.14.2008

FREE METAL GEAR ONLINE BETA KEYS

Go here:

Here!

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link, fill in a bit of info, and you're set! I just got mine (in Canada and it still worked, btw). I imagine that this won't last long, so be quick!

SUPER EXCITED.   read


1:38 AM on 01.24.2008

Hugely Terrible Transformers Fanfiction (NVGR)

CTZ's post of that Half-Life shit reminded me of this gem from YEARS back...

http://www.worlds-worst.com/worldsworst/fanfic/idea_detail.php?LinkID=106&CatID=2

It's some Beast Wars: Transformers fanfiction. And it is the worst thing that you will ever read. Some choice quotes (beware spoilers!):

"Optimus: nooo.........You lived like a warrior ans died to an hero."

"Optimus take Dinobot's body back on the Maximals base and destroy it, WITH HONOR!"

"Megatron: EXCELLENT!!!! Now, the Maximal are only 4! And without Terantulas, we are 6, hahahahaha.....This time"

Epic stuff. The same site has an archive of a ton of other Transformers fanfics, all hilarious, either intentionally or unintentionally. At least I thought they were when I was about 10. Check it!   read


5:40 AM on 01.23.2008

Turning Point Demo Up on XBL: Codemasters Officially Insane

People, do not download the Turning Point: Fall of Liberty Demo that just went up on Xbox Live. If you do, you will find only the horrific precursor to what is sure to be, and this is no exaggeration, the worst game the Xbox 360 will ever see. I have no fucking idea why Codemasters would ever actually create a demo, and show people what a massive piece of shit the game is. Anyone who plays it will most definitely never, ever look upon it again, much less buy it. Some of the problems:

-the game uses the Unreal 3 engine, at least according to the logo when it boots up. How the helll you would ever realize this without the logo is beyond me. This game is oh so ugly. So very, very ugly. This would be a shitty looking PS2 game.

-the game's story and premise is introduced not with a cutscene, but with a 10 second blurb of text on a black background.

-you are some random ass construction worker (I know this only because you start out in a construction site, there's no actual spoken dialogue), and yet the Nazis have decided to send waves and waves of enemies after you for no apparent reason.

-you walk with all the speed of a crippled zombie. Until you activate sprint mode, of course, in which you move at almost 1.3 times your normal speed! (Seriously, I didn't realize I was actually sprinting until like the third time I did it).

-hot shit it's ugly!

That's all I got. My limited vocabulary combined with sleep depravation can't do justice to how bad this game is. Truly, the Hour of Victory and Turok demos were masterpieces compared to this.

Oh well, at least my fre Undertow download is sweet!   read


8:44 AM on 01.10.2008

Heavenly Sword's Fatal Flaw: Its Genre



I recently finished playing Heavenly Sword, and I have to say, the game was absolutely beautiful. Stunning, in fact. The facial animation was incredible, far superior to that found in any other game (yes, even to the Half-Life 2 Episodes and Mass Effect). The performances of the voice actors were among the best to ever be heard in a video game, rivaled only by Bioshock's team of Andrew Ryan and Atlas in terms of quality. The game's score was one of the best of the year, making use of more exotic sounding instruments to sound original, not like the typical John Williams impersonations composers seem so fond of using in video games. The environments looked great, the character designs were neat, and the story, while somewhat underdeveloped because of the game's short length, was still strong (and if you watch the animated episodes the disc, you'll see just how deep it could have been). So, what's the problem? When you actually have to play the game, it turns into a fucking nightmare.

I won't go in depth about what's wrong with the gameplay. If you're reading this, you've undoubtedly read the many reviews which have already done so. It should suffice to say that the different combat stances are underused, the enemies aren't varied enough (there are literally only like 4 different types), the arena-style battles are tiresome, you can button mash your way through the whole game, and that stupid, broken Sixaxis aftertouch shit is used pretty much every ten minutes. So, what could the solution have been to all these problems? How could the game have improved, and in my opinion, improved exponentially? Simple, I say! It should have been turned into an RPG.

This game was begging to be turned into one. More emphasis could have been put on the game's strong points, it's characters, story, and storytelling. Instead of just getting new combos for the sword as you progress through the game, you could unlock more powerful attacks by leveling up, and focus on leveling up one of your stances to become an expert at it. The repetitive enemies would be less noticeable, since that's pretty much a given in RPGs. Instead of switching to a different character with a different control scheme in the middle of the game, you could just have Kai in your party from the get-go. Between the setting, the characters, and the story, this game would have been a perfect fit for an epic RPG. Instead, it was a mediocre action game, and that's a huge disappointment. I'd love to see a second Heavenly Sword, and I hope one is made: I just hope that it's in a different genre.   read


12:52 PM on 01.05.2008

UT3 Kinda Sorta Sucks

So... Unreal Tournament 3. I picked it up for my PSTriple, along with the new Ratchet and Clank game, yesterday at EB with a combination of store credit and Christmas gift cards. BTW, for all you Canadians out there, now would be the time to trade your old shit in... they add on $10 if you trade in 3 games, and $20 if you trade in 5. I managed to get $9 for my 360 copy of King Kong that I bought for 10 bucks, $7 for a free copy of Superman that came with Mass Effect... not bad amounts when you consider the shittiness of the games and EB's usual cheap assholery.

Anyway, I've become sidetracked already. My only experience with the UT franchise comes from a demo version of the original that came on a PC Gamer demo disc years back. It only had like 3 or 4 maps, and due to either a lack of an internet connection or just total noobness, I only played against bots, but still, I played the shit out of that demo for months. However, I never actually ended up buying the game, due to a combination of never going to a store that carried it (happens when your town only has about 4000 people in it), and the fact that the demo barely ran on my old computer and its mindblowing 333 MHz Celeron processor. Still, I loved that game from what I played of it.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited to pop in UT3 when I bought it, and did so right when I came home. The menu booted up, playing the same music that I'd come so accustomed to hearing from my old demo. Awesome. I jumped straight in to the multiplayer section, and... nothing. Couldn't find any game. Searched again. Nothing. And Again. Nothing. I tried one more time, and actually managed to get into a game... sweet! Until I started playing. The lag was absolutely massive, with shots coming out of the guns a good 3 or 4 seconds after they were fired. I quit and looked for a different match. No matches again. Agh! When I finally got into one, the lag was again terrible, and though I played until the end of the match this time, it certainly wasn't enjoyable.

Frustrated, I decided to try out the campaign mode. Not that I had particularly high hopes for a campaign mode where you just play multiplayer gametypes on multiplayer maps but... wow. It's like the game is trying to set videogame storytelling back by about 10 years. The dialogue is pretty hilariously terrible, and the voice acting is the same. Say what you will about Gears of War's story, but at least they hired some awesome voice actors who sold the shit that they were reading. On top of that, UT3's audio is fuzzy as shit, like I'm listening to it over a fucking radio, and sound effects sound similarly crappy. The single player cutscenes look like they came straight from Gears, with excessive slow-mo, zooms, swearing and 'spolsions. The main character looks like Marcus Fenix with Baird's goggles, facepaint, and a red cape. A motherfucking cape. Brilliant fucking idea, space marines really should dress more like Doctor Strange. And as far as the actual SP "missions" go... yeah, they're just some lame botmatches.

So, to summarize: disappointing. But I hop back into the game soon after posting this, I'm sure, and hopefully things will get better. I realize I sound bitchy, but man... I was really looking forward to this game. Anyway, thoughts? Unanimous diasagreement? Let me know.   read


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