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5:40 PM on 02.27.2012

The Fun Havers Club: What Ever Happened to Altered Beast?



Yesterday we brought you What Ever Happened to Balloon Fight and today, here's What Ever Happened to Altered Beast?



The Fun Havers Club was created by Perry Jackson and Cary C. Frank. You can read a detailed analyis on What Really Happened to Altered Beast here on our Tumblr and follow us on Twitter   read


4:37 PM on 02.26.2012

The Fun Havers Club: What Ever Happened to Balloon Fight?



Haven't updated my C-Blog in a long while but I thought I'd put up some of our strips over at The Fun Havers Club on Dtoid to see if the community will like them. I put up our debut strip where we wonder what happened to Balloon Fight.



The Fun Havers Club strips are written and drawn by Perry Jackson and Cary C. Frank. Cary also did a write up on What really happened to Balloon Fight right here on our Tumblr and you can also follow us on Twitter for more wacky updates. We try to make a new strip every Wednesday. I'll put up Altered Beast tomorrow but for now enjoy and tell me what you think!   read


10:20 PM on 01.15.2011

2010 sucked: Heavy Rain’s Polarizing Effect.


In 2009, I was really stoked for Heavy Rain, seeing some of the early scenes with Scott Shelby in the convenience store and the different outcomes it produced. I played the demo and while the Jayden scene might have been a bit…boring, the intense Shelby fight was really fun to play, Feb. 23rd 2010 couldn’t come soon enough.

Then I played the full version and…I was very disappointed in it. While others were praising it, I couldn’t understand why?

Jim Sterling gave it a 7 and I think it was one of the nicest reviews he wrote, especially for such a game like that. Heavy Rain made this effect where it was suddenly split. While some thought it was a masterpiece in Interactive Drama, some also thought there was too many red herrings to make any sense of this disjointed plot. Spoilers Ahead for those who haven’t finished it and seriously, you can finish that game in less than a day, I see no excuses.

I actually didn’t mind the 45 minute start before the actual game goes into effect. Despite it’s monotonous tasks of putting dishes out of a cupboard and helping your wife with groceries, I thought it set the stage for the game well. It might have been a little boring but real life is pretty boring, I’m thinking it wanted to make you feel like this world was living and breathing.

Other scenes such as Jayden with the religious crazy person made you feel this sense of drama and the range of options in that scene was great. So where did it all go wrong?



The red herring’s I mentioned earlier had a lot to do with it, like an inconsistent plot with things they don’t bother to explain. It wouldn’t be so much of a bother if it wasn’t tied into the plot but it was. Take Ethan’s blackouts for example, they were used as an indicator to believe that he could possibly be the Origami Killer. But after maybe 2-4 hours in the game, it’s completely thrown out and never brought up again without explanation whatsoever. With Jayden’s drug problem, that was just a character defect that added to his game play section, where Ethan’s was more or less a plot device that was only used for pacing the game rather than actual story.

Another one of these was looking into the thoughts of the character. When it was first shown, it gave the player a variety of options to think what your next move in the story should be. But again, it’s kind of a problem when you look into Shelby’s thoughts. We all know Shelby is the killer when we find out later in the game, we know he has a hideout in his apartment where he watches Jason. But you’re telling the player he isn’t thinking that whatsoever? Does he have powerful mind-forgetting abilities? No because that makes absolutely no sense, you’re just lying to the player and as the player, I don't like being lied to.

But aside from that, I actually had fun with the game during the intense QTE’s and really testing your hands in the controller. Which is why I find it so polarizing, since it does so many things different for a game for better and for worse. It’s a good and bad thing that Quantic Dream did, they made a pretty good engine for this game but didn’t pay great attention to the story’s pacing and loose ends.

Quantic Dream may have taken one step forward, but at the cost of two steps back.   read


6:09 PM on 12.27.2010

Moments in Gaming: Alan Wake and Metal.



Later this week, I'll be preparing a video for my top 20 games of the year (that I played/finished/almost finished), but I wanted to start by talking about some of my favorite moments of gaming from 2010.

It was a super good year for gaming I felt, we saw the release of the oft-delayed, much hyped, Alan Wake which I fell in love with. Sure, sales weren't amazing for it, and most reviews seemed to paint the hype a little too dry but I couldn't help but adore the story. There was a lot of moments in this game that either scared me or made me think but there was one moment that i'll never seem to forget in the game. Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn't played the game.

I was walking in an abandoned storage area it seemed, the radio was playing very faintly but enough that I could still hear it, the radio DJ was about to play a song but said a line (or an approximation of what's said) before which made the world seem more alive.

"And now, we're gonna play a song by a band called Poets of the Fall, they sound like our hometown band Old Gods of Asgard, so enjoy"

It may not seem like a poignant moment at first, but It was funny on a lot of levels. First, because Poets of the Fall contributed the song "War" for the soundtrack. Secondly, Old Gods of Asgard which are featured in one episode very prevalently, are Poets of the Fall doing more "classic metal" sounding songs for the fake band in the game.

Now the song plays very faintly over the radio, which was nice and soothing thinking "Oh there'll be no enemies, it's a breathing room area like wherever a typewriter was in Resident Evil"

Then the Taken came. Right when the song was about to rock the fuck out. Surrounded the entire storage area.

I was shooting the Taken while this song played very faintly in the background, like an action scene but with the most action-packed song sounding quiet and ambient. It made the world feel more alive to me through atmosphere, while also spooking me, thinking I was in a safe zone but completely changing the tables on me.

I could go on and on about Alan Wake (which could happen through this blog but not rapidly), but I just really liked that moment and originally went into the game without the hype really hitting me until the first playable demo at E3 2009. It was one of the best Xbox 360 exclusives to hit in 2010 and it'll be a game that will keep me thinking/talking for years to come.

Here's the song "War" by Poets of the Fall.

[embed]190391:35038[/embed]   read


6:26 PM on 12.22.2010

Biggest news of 2010: D.I.Y. edition.

I never got the chance to play WarioWare D.I.Y. but it looked awesome. From the building your own mini-games, the chances at creativity were immense. A British magazine NGamer recently made a game that summarizes the biggest news from Mel Gibson's outbursts to the Chilean Miners. Enjoy!
[embed]190155:34982[/embed]   read


2:13 PM on 12.13.2010

The best part about the Uncharted 3 Trailer.

At the VGAs, they showed off the very first trailer for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and holy shit, it looked awesome. But there was one thing to note about this trailer I felt, one thing that made me think this is the game where shit. goes. down.




SULLY'S SHIRT IS RED!

November 1st, 2011 can't come soon enough.   read


1:23 PM on 12.10.2010

Help...

I'm still trying to get use to this whole blogging thing, I tried to show my friend's game off but got a little reamed out about it, which to your defense, makes sense.

I'm trying to embed the youtube link so everyone can see it on the blog post but It didn't work? I don't understand, like that's what I was trying to do.

Sorry everyone.   read


11:51 PM on 12.08.2010

Why Single-Player will never die.

An EA Games President recently said that the single-player game is over (http://www.destructoid.com/ea-single-player-games-are-finished--189185.phtml), which I think is totally wrong. Sure, most of the money nowadays can be made over playing multiplayer games and DLC but I’m not that type of gamer in any stretch of the imagination.

I grew up having really bad Internet (56k!) so online gaming was never in my future until I moved for college. Basically from the NES until I got my first Xbox 360, I was playing games either by myself, or with another person in the room which I was totally fine with. Some of my best times with friends, we played Street Fighter or Super Mario Bros. or any game that really had 2 controllers. But my heart adored single-player games from RPGs like Chrono Trigger or action/beat-em 'ups like Viewtiful Joe.

When I first watched my roommate play Halo 3 for the first time, It was cool albeit hearing the same stupid kids yelling "you’re a fag!" over and over again. Its single-player campaign wasn't even all that engrossing or that amazing to me, I just felt like I was training for the multiplayer. So where’s the engrossing story-telling? Where’s the character personality? Where’s the connection to the virtual world?

That’s why I’m happy for games like Mass Effect 2, which offers an amazing engrossing story that can be totally your own. You make your path, You say what you want to say, You can have sex with alien or human because it's your experience. That game could never work in an online multiplayer way, although if EA has anything to say about it, they might ruin it by making Bioware make a shoehorned multiplayer component.

Secondly, Dead Space to me was probably in my top 5 of 2008 because it had this raw atmosphere. When EA says that “multiplayer was the most wanted feature”, I’m not really in that camp. It looks cool and all, I’m sure it’s fun, but I’m more interested in the single-player, Zero G fighting, and story. Also, I personally liked Mirror's Edge, it was heavily flawed but I had a fun if frustrating experience with it. It should have gotten a sequel, but I guess it has no multi-player chance so EA won't care.

Another thing, Resident Evil 5 hinged on co-op since Sheva is always with Chris, which made the single-player all the more worse because she would waste ammo and die a lot, becoming almost an escort mission. But then when I played co-op, It was me talking to my buddy saying “Hey…come here, go up this thing, okay, did you get the thing? Okay take the fire and put it there”. Atmosphere killer. I'm not in the world of the game because it's ruined by other people.

Lastly, EA said that “online is where the innovation is at”. The last innovation that has been in online has been the Perk system in COD WHICH IS NOW IN EVERY MULTIPLAYER SHOOTER AS OF LATE (I was in caps still after writing COD). That being said, I haven’t played AC: Brotherhood so I don’t know, but I don’t see much innovation going to happen after “Kill person, get rewarded”. Single-player has tons of chances to innovate. It's whether the game developers and publishers will take the risk

Single-Player will never die, shoehorning online should die.   read


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