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2:19 PM on 11.30.2011

A Kick To The Groin: Fumito Ueda Leaves Sony

I cannot even form the words or put together my thoughts in a way to even comprehend what I have just read. The leader of Team Ico and creator of both Ico and Shadow of The Colossus, Fumito Ueda, has left Sony to work in a more freelance fashion. Although He will continue to work on The last Guardian, I can’t help but feel that this decision is going to have some serious repercussions on Sony and Ueda’s relationship.

I can understand any developer wanting to pull his or her own reigns without an overlord constantly telling them what they should or should not be doing with the product, but as far as I can tell it doesn’t seem like he has ever had that problem. All of Team Ico's games have been successful and unique. There is plenty of speculation surrounding exactly why he left but now all of the delays surrounding The Last Guardian seem to make sense.

According to an article at Develop he may have left the company some time ago and, while working in a more freelance fashion, has continued the development of The Last Guardian. Doing it this way may be one of the reasons for all of the delays as of late and the lack of a playable demo despite the long development time. The Last Guardian was first announced way back in 2009 after all.

So far it seems that it may be even longer than anyone expected before the game is ever show in playable form. In the same article “Shuhei Yoshida, who commands Sony’s global fleet of 16 development studios, recently claimed progress for The Last Guardian has been ‘very difficult, not as fast as we'd been hoping for, and the team has been under big pressure.’”

Fumito Ueda has said that he will continue to work for Sony until The Last Guardian is finished but the way things are going, who knows how long that will be?

Fumito Ueda 'quits Sony' (Develop)   read

9:13 AM on 11.29.2011

Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer: The Boys are Back in Town

Ron Gilbert; the known creator of the point and click adventure game and Tim Schafer; the known creator of awesome, are finally back in the same bed together working at Double Fine Studios. In fact Gilbert has been working at Double fine since late September and now we finally get our first images of what they have in mind. There’s still not an inkling of information regarding exactly what the game might be, but knowing both Gilbert and Schafer, it will no doubt be the funniest thing since Monkey Island.

Apparently one of the reasons that Gilbert began working at Double Fine was because Gilbert spends a lot of time working there in Tim’s office, spinning ideas back and forwarth. In an article from Kotaku Tim finally popped the question while they were talking about a few game ideas. “Hey why don't you come here and build this thing.” he said. I for one

For those of you that don’t know Double Fine is a studio that was created by Tim Schafer and has produced such games as Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, and DeathSpank. All sign’s point towards their next game, whatever it is, being just as good if only because of the talent behind them. Check out the art and an article about it below.

Tim Schafer Hires Ron Gilbert, Gets Funnier (Kotaku)
First Concept Art (Grumpy Gamer)   read

5:36 PM on 11.28.2011

ARGGGH!!! There Be Pirates!!

I am not a fan of video game pirates. I say this towards those people that have never purchased a video game in their lives and somehow sit on a throne of self-satisfaction without ever thinking of the people that they may have hurt in the process. I am also not entirely a fan of music downloading, but with the rise of spottily and other streaming music services the need to pirate music is on the decline. Not so with video games.

In an article by Rob Crossely writing for develop; the research firm Envision has reported that illegal video game downloads has increased by as much as twenty percent in the UK alone. This to me is very alarming because this isn’t just hurting the big boys, it’s the little people. How can a small indie game company hope to compete in the industry if virtually every single copy of his game is downloaded illegal by some brat that doesn’t feel that he or she needs to buy anything.

Hopefully as gaming moves forward more developers will work with their players to provide their games in such a way that it removes the need to pirate from the equation. In an interview with Gabe Newell, the head of Valve, he feels that “Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty.”

I hope that Gabe is right and that the future will only get brighter. Otherwise we may see even more developers start turning away from PC’s and moving exclusively to consoles where pirating is still a problem, but not nearly as prevalent.   read

5:00 PM on 11.28.2011

The FFVII remake may be possible, but not at the cost of creativy

Video games fans can be a rabid, fickle bunch; especially when it comes to remake. Even when it's something as minor as the color of the characters eyes, similar to what we saw with the first episode of the Sonic The Hedgehog downloadable game, it could set off a fan boy fire that could be potentially difficult to put out. It's no wonder then that some developers that would love to remake or tweak things in past games don't do so.

In an interview with Eurogamer Final Fantasy XIII-2 producer Yoshinori Kitase said that "If I may speak as a game creator, if we were to produce a remake of VII, for example, I would be really tempted to delete things and add new elements, new systems or whatever because if we were to make exactly the same thing now, it'd be like a repeat.” No one wants to make something that treads the same ground as before. He would like to make something that is slightly different and maybe even better than the original instead of just swapping out old graphics for something shiny and new.

He also restates a sentiment that many old school video games fans I think can relate to. Saying that sometimes the memories that we have of games can be better than what they really seem to be. Try going back and playing the original Zelda or even the original Final Fantasy and you will see what he means. The original may be quite quint and interesting to look at, but there's no doubt that there are problems or things that could use a bit of polish.

He then goes on to discuss the changes in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and why they opted to go for maybe a more serious tone than what the company had done for their previous numbered sequel X-2. “When we decided to make a sequel to XIII I decided not to go for the same sort of drastic style change - that would be quite negative, we thought. The initial scenario, when it was brought to me, had Serah as the only protagonist, travelling with Moogle as a companion, and their conversation was quite girly, almost camp and a bit over the top and I thought: "OK, that shift is a bit like the one from X to X-2". It's a bit dangerous, so we decided to introduce Noel as another male protagonist, so that we kept the serious tone of XIII but added a few new factors.”

So for fans still holding onto hope for a Final Fantasy VII remake you should probably be prepared for the changes that may or may not occur. It's clear that Square Enix doesn't want to damage their reputation with their fan base and if they do ever decide on a remake they will be doing their best to tip-toe around any big issues.

If you would like to read the rest of the interview where he discuses some other issues, one in particular about the obvious comparisons to Chrono Triggers time travel mechanic, click the link under the article.   read

12:48 PM on 10.29.2011

Reflections: Up, Up and....Don't Look Down

To stand upon the highest point, whether it be on top of a mountain or one of the tallest buildings in the world, or even a roller coaster is one of those exhilarating experiences that can almost “pay the price” for being alive. It's that moment when your staring with your jaws agape and eyes wide open out into the world stretching out before you, a virtual map of the choices that you can make or the choices that you made in order to make it this far. It's a feeling that, aside from being on a roller coaster or airplane, most of will never experience. Have you seen the size of Everest? Personally I have a debilitating fear of heights, even thinking about the cold air wiping through my hair as I climb to retrieve something from the top of the refrigerator can make me sick to my stomach. Thankfully we have video games.

The impending release of Skyrim is upon us, just a few short weeks away. I have been thinking a lot about something that I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking about; I cannot wait to go mountain climbing. It's always on the top of my check list of things to do in every open world game that I play. Now with the inclusion of a dragon shout that allows you to become impregnable (not un pregnentable) for thirty seconds not only can you climb the mountains, you can leap from them in a hulk smash like fashion. This makes me excited.

Climbing a mountain, a skyscraper or even a cathedral in a game gives you a real sense of power in that game world. If you can reach the top of the world, then you can sure as hell conquer it. Height can also be used as a set piece to bring you down to new a new low as I will soon explain. These are just a few of the most awe inspiring and just plain cool vistas in modern open world video games.

Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
There are a lot of buildings to climb in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, nobody is going to try to deny that. The game play was basically built around the idea of being able to gain some vertical space with ease. So how can you possibly decide on what the “Best” building to climb is? Sure there are plenty of tall buildings but how many buildings are the decided center for a known religion? That's right I'm talking about the freaking Vatican. What could possibly be cooler than dancing on top of the center of the Catholic religion, marveling on the denizens that were under their power. The only thing that could possibly make this even better or more blasphemous is if you could do this while also wearing the Popes' silly hat.

Just Cause 2
It's unnecessary to say that the sky is the highest point in all open world games, but until I played Just Cause 2 I had never seen it used to such an awesome degree. If you have never played it don't worry too much, the rest of the game is mainly for explosion whores; the plot is pointless, the missions are dull. If they had just turned the rest of the game into a skydiving simulator than I would have been in love. You can literally fly a plane so high that you reach above the clouds, hop out of your vehicle, and drop for what feels like 10 or 15 minutes. You can see the entire game world stretched out before you in all of it's glory and variety. What's even more fun? Hooking a car up to a helicopter and trying to catch it all the way down.

Fallout 3
Watching the town of Megaton expload into an ironic mushroom cloud combusted from a bomb that they worshiped doesn't give off the sense of glee and excitement that one would normally expect to have by causing an explosion of this size, a “Megaton.” While in most games height seems to be used to give players a sense of joy and excitement here it's used as a sort of punishment; not a tangible in game punishment but a moral one. The building from which you are watching the explosion from, Tenpenny Tower, is a place of luxury and almost what you would call royalty during this period in time. These are people who have from their point of view made it to the “Top” by keeping their poise and branch stuck up their ass attitudes amidst the destruction of the world.

By making the choice to destroy Megaton you have chosen a path that leads towards Money over Morality at the cost of dozens of innocent lives, including the young-ling! Think of the young-lings! The Nuclear cloud rises while you sit pretty on the balcony with the owner of the tower and it's impossible to not feel sympathy for all of those people below, in fact it's downright horrifying. This was a wonderful twist on the normally grand vista and a great visual consequence to your actions. You are above them, sitting in opulence and with a pocket full of money, but are you any better for it?

In Oblivion there are many mountains to scale that let you marvel at the world that Bethesda has created. One of the most beautiful mountains in the game is from on top of the Jerall Mountains overlooking the main city and the surrounding country side. It's made even more powerful by watching the sun rise over your shoulder and the light enveloping the entirety of the land of Cyrodiil. What makes this mountain awesome and very relevant to this article is the fact that this is the mountain range that borders on Skyrim directly to the north. The only downside to the location is that it makes the decay in texture resolution the further away that you look even more obvious and ugly.

So these are just a few of my favorite high places in games, what are some of yours and why?   read

10:08 PM on 07.27.2011

Motion Control: "Le Stick" or "Massive Stick of Dissapointment"

For this weeks blog about motion controllers I thought that I would do something classy, something that serves as a bit of a dedication, something that is just a little bit about....dildos. I am of course, talking about the very first motion controller. The very sexy “Le Stick” created by Data Soft in 1981, just a year after they were founded, two years before the video game crash, and just after the release of their very first video game “Popcorn.” Little did they know that they were about to change virtually nothing about the game industry for years to come. Anyway, as these things always go, to understand how this all started we have to take a trip way back. Back to the years of the dinosaurs, back to the 80s!

Datasoft was founded in 1980 by former Unidata Investments employee Pat Ketchum. The company mainly produced ports of games from the Arcades and was pretty heaving into the Atari cloning shindig like most other developers of the era. Who could really blame them for trying to capture the success of one of the only widely successful video game companies at the time.

Pat Kechum's company was spawned by a love for video games and a love for money. Who doesn't love making money? Unfortunately for Pat, making money as a video game developer was just as hard back then as it is today. The company went bankrupt after just three years and would sell most of what was left of it to two Datasoft executives, Samuel L. Pool and Ted Hoffman. They later changed the name of the company to Intellicreations and sold Datasoft games until the company finally closed for good. A year before losing it all though, Datasoft would put it's hands in the pot of hardware developers and try to create something that would hopefully change the way that video games were played forever.

Le Stick (just The Stick from now on) was released about a year after Datasofts' first video game, Popcorn. Which was pretty much a clone of the old arcade game Avalanche, but instead of trying to catch falling rocks you control a pan and catch popcorn kernels as they fall. This type of cloning was typical during this period of gaming. Everyone was trying to grab a piece of the magic that Atari had found with it's line-up of popular games and consoles. Although it's safe to say that it wasn't contained to this period only as much of this is going on today, especially when it comes to iPhone apps and Facebook games.

A lot like the Wii's Motion Controllers' before the Motion Plus add on that added a substantial amount of reliability, but virtually no games besides Red Steel 2 that made any use of it, the stick didn't do anything that a regular controller didn't do. It also couldn’t match a standard controllers degree of accuracy or lack of awkwardness while using. I mean seriously, look at this thing, it looks like something that you might find in the back of your girlfriends closet that gives you second thoughts about how great your intimate moments actually are.

Also, a lot like the Wii, most retailers saw it as nothing more than a novelty that would eventually wear off. Unlike the Wii though, video games were still relatively new and most publishers were skeptical of anything as radical as this design. Datasoft also didn't have a huge name like Nintendo to back up it's word that this device would do anything to change the way that current games were played. As it stood, The Stick had no games designed specifically for it and although it could be used for most games that could also used a traditional arcade stick like controller, it wasn't nearly as reliable and the design itself made the games much more tricky to play. Along with the huge price tag, no one wanted it and you couldn't blame them.

The Design of the controller is extremely questionable if you look at it from today’s standards. I understand that they were going for extreme simplicity but for their sake I hope that it at least sounded good to back up how it must of looked to the basic consumer. I can only imagine the guys in marketing discussing it. A controller that would transfer hand motions into actual gameplay was something that probably sounded like it was out of some science-fiction novel. Today, It looks like a giant black dildo that the average person would never even think of using to play video games. It is basically a long black stick with one buttons on the top that was re-centered by simply squeezing it. I imagine that most consumers that saw it in a store thought that they were selling sexual devices on the floor and that the few that did buy them tried to use them for that exact purpose.

The coolest thing about the stick at the time was that it did not require any type of power source because everything that it did was completely mechanical. The motions were registered by a mercury core that transferred the information to the computer via a regular control port. Angling the stick from side to side controls left and right movement, and forward/ backwards for moving up and down. It was a design that was even simpler than the Wii Mote. Especially because their was only one button, which was all that controllers really needed at the time anyway; because of the way the stick controlled it was best used for flight games, but none were made that were designed specifically for it. Which would have probably helped boost the sales immensely.

Even though with the right promotion and the right games it could have found at least some kind of a Niche market to make it sustainable, it was one of the causalities of the video game market crash in 83'. Manufacturing of the device was stopped and it has since became a distant memory. Part of me wonders if Nintendo didn't discover this while they were developing their own controller and decided to use some of the more basic ideas when developing their own. It wouldn't be all that surprising in a industry where innovations are built upon past ideas; even ones as basic, and lacking in good design philosophy, as The Stick had. It could have at least inspired the basic framework of some future motion controllers.

This was just the beginning of motion control for the video games, but because of consoles like the Nintendo Wii, it wasn't the last. The next motion controller would not be released until “The Activator” in 1993, which sounds like the name for a cheesy terminator arch nemesis, or at least his alter ego when he decides to take a break from killing and relax at some trendy local Los Angelas hangouts Nw every hardware manufacturer is trying to find it's own place in the market with them all having varying degrees of success, though none of them nearly as much as Nintendo's own console
Nintendo took simplicity and sleekness and marketed it to the people that had never touched a video game in their lives while also attracting the hardcore market with visions of swinging virtual swords in their living rooms. Although most of those ideas put foward by past motion devices have ended up being much less breathtaking than we had hoped for, they always give us something to build upon for the future.   read

7:35 PM on 02.01.2011

Hacker and Frogster not likely to be sharing bagels anytime soon.

Not this kind of hacker (sadly)

A little over a week ago Frogsters MMO game "Runes of Magic" was hacked by an user known as Augustus87. He or she appeared on the forums with a list of demands and a warning that he had bypassed much of the security that was in place for the game. This user has in his hands the personal information (credit card numbers ect...) of pretty much every member of the game and is threatening to release them if his demands are not met. What are his demands? Ironically better security and Customer Service.

It's a very well known fact that the forums and in general customer support could be better. Users complain about problems and according to forum members nothing ever really seems to get done. This guy is just one of those people you know, one of THOSE people, who just couldn't take it anymore. Maybe he called in to ask a question and was blown off by a person who couldn't speak English? Maybe the person on the other end was someone who had little to no knowledge about the game and was simply there to make a few bucks to answer a phone? Kind of like one of these conversations.

Player: "mam could you please help me? My character seems to be stuck in a tree."

Customer Support: "Oh my gawd really? A tree? How did that happen?"

Player: "I really have no clue mam but I would really like it if my character didn't have to suck on sap for the rest of his life."

Customer Support: "Oh my gawwwwd yeah that would suck *vew loud gum chewing*"

Player: "......sooooo"

CS: "What do you want me to do about it?"

Player: "Well I would LIKE it if you could please remove my character from said tree. If you don't mind."

CS: "I don't know if I can do that, let me ask Bobby."

(Phone goes silent for several minutes; there is laughing in the background)

Player: "Hello....Helloooooooo..... fuck this (click)"

Okay that could be quite a bit exaggerated but you get the idea. Most of us who have called in for customer service for anything have ran into this person at least a few times. Limited knowledge about a game with a very limited want in helping you. If there was a chance that this went on, along with terrible forum moderation and terrible video game security, there is little doubt that there are a lot of people that share similar feeling with the hacker.

I am not trying to condone hacking, I'm just saying that the hackers demands are not entirely unreasonable and in all honesty, should have been dealt with a long time ago. It's interesting how Frogster is trying to spin this in a way that makes them look like shining pieces of shit who have no clue why someone would want to do this to them. Wake up and smell the lilly pad!

From Frogster CEO Dirl Weyel to GamesIndustry.Biz:

"Of course, we looked at what it means. Why is someone so angry? Why do they want to harm Frogster and the user base? Obviously, in any community you have people who complain. Some of them are reasonable, and some complain in a way that is unacceptable. What this guy did is definitely criminal, but is also unacceptable in terms of the way that the he communicated."

By looked I am going to guess that they more likely "skimmed."

The hacker has broken the law and does deserve to be punished for his actions. Releasing the information of 2000 players to the internet is not a good way to push your own agenda of actually doing good things for a game. It's not like petitions ever helped either though...but still. It probably would have been better for him to just go find another game to tell you the truth. Free MMO's are like the prostitues of the internet; They wheel you in with all of their offerings, then nickle and dime you for every little piece of action, and then the next morning you just end up with a buttload of crabs and things that you didn't even really need or want. Sounds like fun rights?

Hopefully for the players sakes Frogster can work with the police to put a stop to whatever is going on. In the end though I hope it also teaches Frogster a valuable lesson (probably not). Listen to your customers and treat them with respect and not just the guys who are handing you cash that you are using to pay them back with a terrible, terrible, yet very pretty, hand job.

Source:   read

3:52 PM on 01.30.2011

This is your "One Chance" save the world.

One chance is one of the best "Artsy" indie games that I have played in years. In fact, I guess you could say it is the only one that I have ever wanted to go back and play again. That would of course, defeat the purpose of the game. You only get one chance and then your IP is blocked and your forced to think about the decisions you made and if you could have done things differently. It's a lot like life, you only get one chance.

The game is about a virus that begins to kill off everyone on the planet. You play as a scientist working towards a cure so that the entire human race won't umm..die. The story framework isn't really what makes the game special however, it's the fact that every little decision is factored into how the story plays out. For instance, Instead of spending the last days I may have been alive with my family I chose to go to work every day and attempt to spend every last minute trying to cure everyone. It has to work right? I don't want this guys family to die. You could also choose to stay at home, take a leisurely stroll, hang out with your child, whatever you want to do during your last days.

This game does what I wish games like Mass Effect would do, give you decisions that you know you cannot take back. Have a save that makes you unable to go back and choose to save the person that you just lost if you please. It gives each decision much more weight and gives you the feeling that you are actually affecting the world. Not every ending can be a good ending and it shouldn't be. Your decisions should have ever lasting consequences. It wouldn't make much sense to be able to only play Mass Effect once though, there's no way you can really fix that.

My last days alive were deeply disturbing and sad. I came home one day to find that my wife had committed suicide in the bath tub. The next day I carried my child with me on my shoulders, over my dead wife's blood, to work; where everyone was now dead as well, just to see if today was the day. The day was the day, I found the cure. Sadly, the only two people left alive to use it were me and my son. I can't go back and fix the decisions I made, they are permanent and there are tons of ways the game could change for each person.

Here is a link, give it a try, and don't cheat your way and do it twice. This is one chance. Post your outcomes here if you want to share how your end of the world turned out.

Link to "One Chance."   read

3:06 PM on 01.30.2011

More Awakened Stuff

Another day another post about the continuing to impress super-hero themed game "Awakened" by Phospher games. It seems like only the other day that was the other day that I posted about the things that I hope are in the game and now with another new trailer a few of thoe questions have been answered along with a few new ones to add as well.

The new trailer does it's best to show off a few new abilities and even has a few moments of uninterrupted gameplay near the end. Everything is still very rough but even in this state it already is doing things that super hero games should have done years ago. The world looks very much like the world of today, which is something that really hasn't been explored yet in a super hero setting other than say Spider-Man. That is spider-mans new york though, not ours. They haven't released any story details other than what I can gleam to be some military on super people battle. That leads me to question where did all of these other heroes come from? Why exactly are they fighting these military brutes? What happens to turn the world into such a shitty looking place?

The new abilities that were shown were in line with what you would expect super powered people to be able to do. There was a girl who could quickly teleport to get away or get up close to her attackers. The power looked very cool but the hack and slash sword play was kind of...meh. The other ones that looked very interesting was the Magneto floating sphere of energy trick and a black hole that one of the heroes seemed to produce. Both looked very very cool. I also enjoyed the guy who had flames bursting from his body. Flame on" anyone?

Watching the girl sword fight brought about a fear that I hope will be addressed at some point in the future. Is there going to be so much in the game that they will not have time to make everything as deep as it needs to be. Are there going to be hand to hand or weapon combos? Is every power going to have multiple uses or do you simply just turn on the flames? Can you control water in many different ways or can you simply make a terrifying wave? Focus is key here and I hope that they can find a focus on making a bunch of good powers rather than making hundreds of really crappy ones. We don't need another Prototype and have tons of moves that you were honestly never going to use.

The most interesting part of the whole trailer for me was the few moments of uninterrupted gameplay near the end. Even in this rather unpolished state it still looks as if it would be a decent game. They have the tone right, the character customization, and some alright looks abilities. Also, that blast from that super person that took out that chopper just looked brilliant, along with the building that sends debris all up and down the street in a way that is very reminiscent of 9/11. What brought the world to the brink of destruction that it seems to be at?

While I am no doubt still very very excited for the game and am praying (something I never do) that this gets an attached publisher as quickly as possible; I am not going to get my hopes up and say that this is going to be any better than the other super hero games that have came out in recent years. It all depends on whether or not the team can focus and create something that will be unique and fun for everyone that plays it. That's what the focus of the game looks to be right? Who are you going to be?   read

12:41 PM on 01.29.2011

Awakened Trailer Thoughts

I have to say that after watching the new Trailer for Phospher's new game (or old game with a new name) that I am very excited about the potential that is being shown for a super hero game that may finally scratch more than the "I want awesome powers" aspect of being super hero. I'm now saying that the power's don't look very cool, because they do, but the entire theme that is being shown and the outright depressing tone is hopefully a precursor to a very personal story about a person who gains super human abilities coming into their own.

Super hero games are few and far between these days, and while some of them are good I wouldn't go so far as to say they have been great. The only super hero game that was enjoyable in the past few years was Arkam Asylum and even that managed to do a few things that kept it from be the near perfect game that it could have been (The final boss and lack of any real human emotion). It wasn't the fact that they didn't show enough of Batman as a human being; they tried to do that by using the Scarcrow to get inside the characters head. It just wasn't done well enough in my opinion. Even after the Scarcrows attacks there was nothing to really show that Batman had been phased at all, unlike in the Arkham Asylum graphic novel that really delves into the psyche of the caped crusader and shows us that he may not be as sane as everyone thinks he is.

What I am hoping for with Awakened is that you get to create a character and really get into the how and why this person decides to help protect (or destroy maybe) the people of whatever city that you are protecting. I hope that there is a section where you lose your powers and the game shows you just how weak (or strong) the person may be or not be even without them depending on the route that the developers want to take. It also wouldn't be to bad to be able to have the powers that you pick sort of help develop your characters personality to sort of show what having these sorts of abilities can do to a persons soul.

The one thing that really struck me was the character that was wearing the shorts and a gas mask. I hope that this is a sign that character customization is going to be a huge part of the game. I just hope that it doesn't get too outrageous and lets you don a cape and tights, mostly because from what I am seeing. The game is much more serious looking than that and I think will benefit from characters wearing more realistic clothes like most of the characters in the trailer seem to be. Spandex riding up your ass does not help when your deep in a hailstorm of bullets.

The variety in powers is going to be interesting as well. How do you get to choose and what effects are the powers going to have when the developers create all the of the different situations that you are going to encounter. How much different is the game going to play for each person and how are the developers going to keep quality high for each type of style? We really have no idea but what we can have is hope that a great super hero game may actually be released in the next few years.

Who brought the tornado to a gun fight?

Up, Up, and Awayyyyy (billboard splat)

Jims Awakened article with trailer   read

11:41 PM on 07.18.2010

The Hate of A Bulletstorm

After seeing yet another hate filled comment about how Bulletstorm looks like “just another shooter” I felt that I had to write something positive about it. If anything Bulletstorm looks like a shining light in an extremely grimy see of “I’m So Serious” shooters that have flooded the market in recent years. The color pallet and campy dialogue alone proves that this game is not meant for those of us looking for a mind warping story or thought provoking dialogue. What it is trying to do is give us one hell of a fun and crazy good time.
The way the game plays is the coolest part of the whole package. It’s like they took parts of Devil May Cry’s scoring system and mixed it with the over the top run and gun of games like Painkiller and put them into some type of high tech mixing pot and this is what came out. You get combos for using multiple moves together like say, grabbing a person with your whip and the kicking them into an electrified wall. Or maybe by using one of the outrageous weapons to place a chain of explosives around the neck of an enemy, pulling him towards you, then kicking him into a group of other enemies. It looks like it’s going to be extremely hectic and fresh, which is exactly what the shooter genre is in need of at this time.
Did I mention the whip? Yes, the whip is one of your primary weapons in the game and looks like it will have a whole host of uses. From sending a group of enemies in the air, whipping them towards you, or possibly doing tons of other things that they have probably not even shown us yet. In my opinion, whips take anything that is already awesome and multiply that by some number that hasn’t even been discovered yet. Flesh eating zombie catfish with whips? I’m already sold and it isn’t even a real game! These guys obviously understand just how versatile a good sized whip can be so I don’t even know if it is possible to prepare for the barrel of smack that they are about to throw in my face.
The color pallete is also astounding. The range of colors coupled with the use of lighting and shadows makes this one of the most colorful yet brutal shooters ever seen. Using a power slam and seeing three enemies fly up into the air and shooters a chain linked with explosives at them can only be described as an ogry of beauty and madness. There colorfully bright red blood raining down against the pristine blue sky is something that is almost too good
for words.
I do not know the exact words for describe what they are really doing technically with the game but there is something crazy going on underneath all the madness that makes all this impossible stuff going on run exceedingly well by the looks of the gameplay videos that have been making the rounds. The way light actually looks like it is passing through smoke during one of the scenes is something that we don’t see enough of and something that adds a whole lot of depth to the world that you are walking through. Clearly the staff that is behind this monster knows there way around hardware and is doing it’s best to make something that also plays extremely well but looks and runs just as fantastic as you are doing it.
Although the developers are obviously going to be putting some kind of multiplayer into the game I really wish that they would just leave it without. The gameplay that the single player is showing is going to be difficult if not impossible to translate to multiplayer without placing some types of limitations on what can and can not be done. That being said, if they do I would hope that it would be some time of mode where it’s based on who can get the most points in a single section of a level. Otherwise it will mostly turn out to be just like every other multiplayer component out there.
All of this awesome being spread around by it and somehow it’s the fact that the dialogue is not quite up to par that is dragging people down and making them believe that it’s going to be terrible for it. Whatever happened to simply loving a game for good level design and play mechanics. I know that I never liked Duke Nukem or Doom for there stories, it was because they are just simply fun to play and had some really cool levels to explore. Although I am sure the guys at epic are working with the Developers to try to deliver something that may be worthwhile the story should not be the be all and end all for games. Especially ones that never set out to have a good story to begin with. I am not trying to tell anyone that they should or have to keep and eye out for this one, I just hope that the doubt is for more then what is simply placeholder dialogue at the moment.   read

4:41 PM on 07.16.2010

A Good A time

After receiving a spiffy new laptop as a gift from a friend I thought that this would be as good a time as .any to officially welcome myself to the community. I have been hanging around for a little over a year now and haven't posted much. Now that I actually have a decent computer however, I have a feeling I'll be posting interesting tid bits on here from time to time for a while.
A little information about me. I'm a 23 year old lazy kid who still lives with his parents. I recently discovered that everyone loves my writing and have finally decided on a course to take with my life. Video Game Journalism is my goal and I'm starting by writing some stuff for a little known up and coming page called I'll use this to post things that are not deemed worthy or post able to that website and to give my thoughts on the industry as a whole.
I am about to take some classes at the community collage, mostly the basics that I need to take, then in a year or two I am going to hopefully transfer to a proper university to take classes that will help me in my journey towards being able to hang out with one of my idols (Adam Sessler I love that guy!).
I have been playing video games since I was very young. When I was three years old my father sat me on his lap and taught me how to bring up programs on a commador 64. Since then my gaming habits have not slowed down a bit. I play for several hours a day (mostly a benafit of not being able to find a proper job) and simply love playing games and seeing the way they change year after year. It still astounds me that we have come so far in such a short amount of time. When I started I was playing games that were literally little dots on a screen and now I am playing games that have millions of those little guys swarming all over the screen. If you ever want to talk or add me as a friend, my xbox live gamertag is Gemini1986. The name Gemini was from a character that I made up when I was younger and wanted to be a professional wrestler. Now that I think about it, all those people laughing at the 95 pound kid who wanted to jump off top ropes for a living might have been right, a broken bone a night doesn't sound like such a good idea now.
I am also deeply into music and spend hours and hours every week just looking for that new album that will spark my imagination. Sometimes I will even post album reviews on another blog that I have going specifically for them. Lately it has been "The Sham Mirrors" By Arcturus and "Cybion" by Kalisia. I highly recommend both of them to anyone that just happens to read this so check them both out now! Your musical world depends upon it.
Hope to see you all around and happy gaming!   read

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