I live in Australia (mate). This makes being a gamer interesting, due to a combination of things. Firstly, with Overlord Atkinson (now dethroned thank Zeus) refusing us access to raep and droogies simulators (which is obviously what lacking an R18+ rating *means*) there's a distinct possibility if a game you're looking forward to has side-boob or aspirin-taking (ohlawd) you can be assured of instaban Down-Under. Conroy the Conqueror, who would shine his all knowing and all protecting light upon the internet by blanket filtering the whole thing, thus shielding the eyes of the innocent masses from the horrors of gaming blogs (:3) and fast page access speeds.
Anyway, it was not always so. Back in the day (rocking chair) it was all about the Genesis (Mega Drive), Win 3.11 + DOS and Gameboy (primarily for Pokemon). Later the PSX.
Currently my time is divided between PC (my trusted platform of choice for a long time) and my new love-on-the-side, a PS3 (slim of course, to appropriate the affair metaphor :3).
Outside games I'm also a DJ (electronic); will happily discuss general music and game music any time. Games are what got me into it!
Just recently I finally got around to playing and finishing the lone expansion pack to one of my favourite RTS titles ever, Age of Mythology. Simply called "The Titans" it was pretty sweet even now, long after its release in 2003. The solid story involves Kastor, son of the first game's protagonist, leading the newly introduced playable faction (the Atlanteans) against a range of pretty bad ass titans. Skirmish mode also allows you to summon your faction's own titan toward end game, which makes for a big 'ole stompy fun time in your enemy's base. Very cool.
Conveniently timed then, was the release of the film Clash of the Titans which I trust you've all seen given the current fap-fest God of War 3 is receiving (rightfully, by the looks). "Sweet!" I think to myself, "'The Titans' was awesome, I'm totally down for more Titan action." So I wrangle my bro's together and organise to go see what I should be a cool Ancient-Greek action-fest. I've not seen the original but made sure to watch a few trailers; yeah a Kraken is cool, but titans. Clashing titans. That's where it's at. The trailer boldly states, in case the title wasn't enough of an indication, that "Titans Will Clash". I was pretty pumped.
Dear reader. Clash of the Titans has. no. titans. Not one.
I know this is a remake and the name is just reflective of that, but I'm pretty sure that unless this is an incredible deviation from a pretty standard fare story, the original probably doesn't have titans either. I was disappoint! Here I was, fresh from a titan-rich gaming experience hoping to cap it off by seeing more in a movie named "Clash of the Titans", only see precisely 0 titans. A Kraken is not a titan. If my Age of Mythology experience is an indicator, a Kraken is actually a far less menacing-looking squid-like naval myth unit available to the Greeks. I say pfft to you, Kraken. Do I have the option to "Worship: Kraken" to advance to the next age? Nope. You worship Gaia, motherfucker. A real titan. And a pretty hot one, too. Is a giant scorpion going to give you the base leveling "Implode" power? No chance, son. You need Atlas in your life. Zeus and Hades are Olympian "gods", and are about as high as the movie goes in terms of heavenly entities.
I know the summoned titans in Age of Mythology are basically nameless placeholders, as not all of the races have "titans" in their mythologies per se. Except perhaps for the one that is pretty obviously based on Cerberus for the Greeks, or some interesting Horus-chicken hybrid for the Egyptians. But the game is called "The Titans" and shock horror it has them. More importantly, unlike the film the expansion has actual titans inadvertently clashing. Just one encounter of which is Gaia pounding Prometheus ten ways to Sunday, which definitely constitutes a "Clash of the Titans". So without telegraphing the fact that it does, the game has both of those elements over the film.
It should have been called "Clash of the Gods", which is far less appealing really, or my personal request "Bastard Australian Demi-God vs. The Goddamn Loch Ness Monster! (he need about tree-fiddy)". Similarly, if "The Titans" expansion included no actual titans, could it have been named just "More Units" or "The Extended Campaign"? What if the same tact was used for other films or games? Return of the Jedi, potentially involving over confident palace security returning from vacation to overthrow the Emperor? Tomb Raider, where Ms Croft in fact goes out on a shopping spree?
Don't get me wrong, the film was cool in a 300-meets-God of War way, but if you market something as blatantly as "Titans Will Clash" and then there are no clashing titans...there will be some disappointment.
I'm sure you have some better "misleading titles", so what movie or game would you like to see re-released in a Clash of the Titans manner, where the title perhaps doesn't quite reflect the happenings?
So yesterday I came back to a series of games I'd left for a while, primarily out of frustration at not being able to progress the story. That game being Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 3 (the Leviathan one). After a relatively painless run with the first two, this jumped out like a brick wall! The part in question, which also made me "meh" on the whole ordeal really, you may also be familiar with. Guybrush is tasked with "beating" the head of a fellowship of Pirates in what is literally a face-off. All of the particular facial features must be unique per-round to win this thing, but unlocking (I guess the best term for it) most of them is a PAIN and one of my gripes with the adventure genre.
I now very rarely have a point-and-click adventure game running solely on it's own. That is to say, a browser is now only a windows button or alt+tab away with a handy walkthrough there to guide me through illogical parts. And that's the issue. Adventure games, in my experience, can only be progressed in the *direct* way that the developer intended, and often without so much as a hint as to how. Take for instance the concept that one inventory item is usable on one other object in the environment, a tried and true mechanic for a game like this. It's all well and good when the combination makes sense, like key to door to put it simply. But when get quirky items like "seahorse head" and a myriad of objects in the immediate area to potentially "use" it on, what kind of logic do you apply to that? Spoiler warning here To use the sea horse head example, in the final scene of Lair of the Leviathan you need to take down a rubber boat in a cannon battle. Conventional ammo does not work, as it simply bounces off the hull. I tried all but one *logical* (and some not so) item in my inventory with the cannon but no luck. The last one being the seahorse head. Why would I use that in a cannon? Turns out if you fire the head, it'll entice the giant manatee to eat their whole ship.End Call it my failing to read that outcome from that combination if you like, but it's a long shot to be sure. It's like adventure developers sometimes have to resort to having you guess what you need to do to get the required outcome. Which to me, isn't primarily fun.
Purists and fans would argue that this is the nature of the experience but I find it somewhat tedious and limiting. Surely the point-and-click adventure can be revamped in this regard, other genre's have come leaps and bounds in the past decade. When it flows, it's great and can make for a great game experience. But too often I find that illogical combination pop up and it's time for the alt+tab. I'm hoping I wont need one for chapter 4 (fingers crossed).