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!
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 bitÖboring, the intense Shelby fight was really fun to play, Feb. 23rd 2010 couldnít come soon enough.
Then I played the full version andÖI was very disappointed in it. While others were praising it, I couldnít 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 havenít finished it and seriously, you can finish that game in less than a day, I see no excuses.
I actually didnít mind the 45 minute start before the actual game goes into effect. Despite itís 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, Iím 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 herringís I mentioned earlier had a lot to do with it, like an inconsistent plot with things they donít bother to explain. It wouldnít be so much of a bother if it wasnít tied into the plot but it was. Take Ethanís 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, itís completely thrown out and never brought up again without explanation whatsoever. With Jaydenís drug problem, that was just a character defect that added to his game play section, where Ethanís 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, itís kind of a problem when you look into Shelbyís 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 youíre telling the player he isnít thinking that whatsoever? Does he have powerful mind-forgetting abilities? No because that makes absolutely no sense, youíre 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 QTEís 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. Itís a good and bad thing that Quantic Dream did, they made a pretty good engine for this game but didnít pay great attention to the storyís pacing and loose ends.
Quantic Dream may have taken one step forward, but at the cost of two steps back.
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.
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!
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.