Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brutal Legend: Tim Schafers's newest delight

The demo of Brutal Legend is out! Rejoice! (At least, it was out about three days ago as of this posting). So naturally I downloaded this hefty 2 gig demo. After all, I won the game in Jack's Big Rip Off.

Mandatory plug about how I won and you didn't

Blazblue: Continuum Shift announced as update, wallets everywhere brace themselves

Blazblue: Continuum Shift has been announced and the signals are getting mixed. Lots of places call it an update. Maybe it'll be a downloaded update? Others call it a sequel, and thousands recall how Street Fighter III took three sequels to get to it's current version (It's called Third Strike). So what will it be? And just how will it impact us?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Re-entering Oblivion: Top 7 thing I'm gonna do.

Oblivion went up for Games on Demand and it was a nice thought. Then I got into Fallout 3 seriously because of all the DLC they had released for it. Then I remembered Oblivion was made by the same guys as the dudes who made Fallout 3. Then I got a coupon for 20% off any used game at Gamestop and promptly forgot about the meagerly overpriced digital download version.
I bought Oblivion again for three reasons.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Facebook's fun new disease, social gaming

Lately, a string of Facebook apps or flash games have been assaulting our friend feeds, taking up legitimate news of what our friends are doing with news like, "Katie has bought a tractor on Farm Ville," or "Michael just leveled up in Castle Age," or "Jonathan is playing some game, join too to do all sorts of crap."

I swore to myself I'd never join one of these "social" games, but when my girlfriend asked me to join Farm Ville, it was the first step to starting a new reason why I should open my laptop even if I was in the middle of class, because dammit, my blueberries are going to wither if I don't pick them on time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shadow Complex avoids 'Metroidvania' comparisons just barely

Shadow Complex has been available for quite some time, but the fun hasn't quite worn off yet. Many people tout it as a Metroidvania knock off. Others call it a Metroidvania homage. Either way, Shadow Complex can't escape this comparison of classic game design from Metroid and Castlevania. A lone player exploring a single, massive dungeon, slowly treading on new ground more and more by collecting upgrades and weapons. So is it blatant reliance on tired game design, or a game to add to the Metroidvania term?

The week in a roundup

School's about as hectic as ever. I can't say my brain will let me focus on posting during the week, but at least I can get something out over the weekend, a time when other blogs usually take a break in terms of posts. So here's a quick update on things.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Play as a celestial body in Solar

Courtesy of MTV Multiplayer's spotlight showcase of Solar, I managed to find out about an interesting indie game on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I'm a fan of games with quirky settings and back drops, and this game proved to be one of the quirkier. What other game let's you play as a star which, depending on how you play the game, is actually quite an asshole?

Friday, September 11, 2009

A hard game to spell correctly: I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1

In journalism, we have to get names right, and unfortunately, the exact name of this game is hard to remember exactly. I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1 (henceforth, A Game With Zombies, or just Zombies) is the kind of game you think up of when you're drunk, then proceed to make after the hangover. You're not drunk anymore that it impairs your ability to program, but when you thought of the concept, you had just downed three Jack Daniels and finished watching Shaun of the Dead.

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Zombies takes the classic gameplay of Robotron and pits you against not only zombies in a classic top down perspective, but also a bevy of seemingly belligerent abstract constructs. Some of them look like dust bunnies while other times they annoying, flashing gifs your grandmother sends you because she thinks they're amusing. And all of them want to kill you by brushing up against you.

You move around with your left stick and shoot with the right with pick up weapons spawning randomly around the map, from machine guns to shotguns to flamethrowers. All while enemies constantly spawn and try surrounding you. It can be played with three other friends, dramatically causing the game to spawn more enemies to match, and the game becomes an addictive survival testing to see how long you can live. There's just sheer joy to be had when you can shooting in any general direction and mow down 10 to 20 zombies a second and hundreds more are still there to replace them.

So at 80 points, roughly a buck, Zombies is a cheap, economically fun game for those bored and on Xbox Live. Just look for it under the indie games tag.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Splosion Man: everything you want as long as they're splosions

As someone who's into fight games, I tend to gravitate towards certain games. I'm obsessive about beating a game with everything I can collect or beat. 1998: Banjo-Kazooie and to this day I'm still collecting those damn jiggies on the Xbox Live version. Just last year I played Mega Man 9, while still infuriatingly hard, is easier then most other Mega Man games, and I loved how it took no prisoners. Now I'm at the end of summer and playing Splosion Man.

Splosion Man is about a man who splodes (presumably, exploding) his way through the scientific laboratory he was supposedly created in. He has no qualms against the men who created him. It's just that he can only do one thing, and do it well he does. He splodes.

All you need to do is get from point A to point B, start to finish. When you explode, it's usually to jump, which he can do two more times in mid air. He can also splode to wall jump, and course just to destroy everything around him.Only problem is that the levels get progressively harder and more complex to traverse with a variety of ways to die, often times simple one hit kill scenarios like falling acid or being crushed. Other times you'll encounter enemies who simply knock you around, and if they do it enough, you die.

I haven't even passed the first world yet, and I know the levels are gradually stacking the odds against me. As a gamer used to Japanese game design (difficult, relentless, heavy memorization) I take a certain amount of joy of try, try, and try again game play. Some will definitely get frustrated, but the game is rewarding beyond design. It has a wacky sense of humor that'll have you laughing all the way.

For 800 points, it's a nice game that won't break your wallet a whole lot. You get a meaty single player campaign, an enjoyable multiplayer campaign, and loads of rewards like gamerpics and bragging rights.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oh God: Our first look at Bioshock 2's multiplayer

Bioshock 2 multiplayer video from PAX.

Hoo boy, has Bioshock forsaken me. I shall admit that I was genuinely interested in Bioshock 2. Yes, it's missing Kevin Levine, brains behind the first spectacular Bioshock, and some people are worried that visiting Rapture after it's lost it's luster is a bit tired.

Lots of people thought it'd be more interesting to do a prequel while Rapture was in it's downfall, seeing how Rapture was like in it's prime and how it became a dystopian wasteland, but instead we play as a Big Daddy in the same dirty Rapture, but there were redeeming things like the mysterious Big Sister and the dynamic between you and the Little Sisters but this multiplayer is just something that just isn't Bioshock. Here's my case...

Why should I care?
You play as a random splicer trapped in some sort of twisted deathmatch in the name of testing new products. In Halo, you already develop a connection with Master Chief, a spartan. In Call of Duty, you learn to identify with people of your faction and their voices and quirks. But in Bioshock, you played as Jack, a no name mute the player gained an interest in for his mysterious circumstances. You're not playing Jack in multiplayer, but random, nameless splicers you should be used to killing by now. Splicers are meant to be cannon fodder to your weapons and plasmids. You shouldn't be playing them.

The controls
The aiming sensitivity in Bioshock was slow and precise. Enemies were large and methodical and you aim was slow to reflect the overall pacing of the. Sure you can just speed it up for multiplayer, but the controls have already taught us that Bioshock was a detail oriented, methodical monster. Not a twitchy fire fight crazy game.

I just realized this while typing this down, but all the maps will be indoors. What can expect from multiplayer map size and diversity when I know they will be first and foremost indoors? Ok, so it could take place in wide open rooms to simulate large open areas, but still...

It reeks of shoehorning
Come on, everybody should've been thinking the same thing when they announced this feature: Why? Bioshock was a beast of an immersive, single player experience. We've never thought of multiplayer before, so why start now? Are the guys over at 2K Games just itching to join the same bandwagon as Halo and Call of Duty?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slowing down time with Marvel Vs. Capcom 2

I've never been good at Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Before it's release to the Xbox Live Arcade, it was next to impossible to get a home version game. I didn't jump on the Dreamcast bandwagon when it was still alive and good luck finding PS2 or Xbox copies. This left me with the arcade version, which of course means I'll never get around to getting decent practice in it, let alone focus on my own unique team.

It's now available to play at home and even after a few hours of playing it, I can only admit my grasp of the game is "loose" at best.

Don't get me wrong. This game is nearly nine years old and it's community is still rampant as ever for a reason. Having a three person team consisting of various characters from Capcom and Marvel, duking it out in a frenzied, frenetic tag team match is fun against friends. But MvC2 is among one of the fastest fighting games on the competitive scene, and my brain can hardly keep up with the action. This coming from a person who plays Jin and Tager to a certain degree of mid tier skill.

Still, the game is as fun as ever as you'd expect the game to be when you see it in the arcade.

Everything is still the same, and I had the chance to play it online with my friend Ed (the best fight game player I know). The netcode seems nice enough as I experience zero lag in a normal match with a friend and my favorite part is the post game room, which summarizes the last five or so games with your opponent with each character and team you've played out with your win/lose results.

Well, there's nothing much more to say. If you've been playing this game for the past nine years, you can finally play it in the comfort of your own home with all it's quirks and perks.