Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brawl, stop diluting my genre

Smash Brothers Brawl, the hundred pound gorilla is just everyone's favorite, isn't it?

The other day, I walk into a classroom to join my friends in some video games. Of course, Smash Brothers Brawl is on the screen right now and I see four excited/dumbfounded/pained expressions looking at a projected screen as four mascot characters from the Nintendo franchise beat the living snot out of each on board a spaceship every which way. I can sense a feeling of controlled chaos as the players know what they're doing yet don't know what will happen next considering it is a four person free for all with no allegiances. Projectiles are thrown, bodies are ringed out, and special attacks are executed. But after a few more games of this, I want to play Tatsunoko vs.Capcom. I'd just gotten off class after all and I wanted to play this new game starring the most obscure characters from the Capcom video game franchise and the Tatsunoko anime production company.

As soon as we start on that, all I can feel is confusion.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A comparison between Jack and Subject Delta [Bioshock]

Anybody who plays Bioshock does so for the narrative. Yes, Bioshock 2 made the combat and controls much better in comparison to the first one. But when they first announced it, the gut reaction was pretty much, "What do you mean? The story ended so well in Bioshock 1." Everyone cared about the story and combat was at least secondary to this.

Compare the protagonists Jack from Bioshock 1 and Subject Delta from Bioshock 2. Both are completely different but their role in the story is integral. People thought Bioshock 2 would be lacking a good story at first and people even contend that there are gaping flaws in it, but I don't think so. Actually, I like Delta much more then Jack, and this can be crucial since we're playing a first-person shooter game. Since you essentially play from their view and can see their hands and legs, how you relate to your medium in the story is just as important as how good the actual story is. So consider why Bioshock 2 is just as good as Bioshock 1, if not better, because of Subject Delta.

Warning: In order to go in depth with this analysis, some amount of spoilers is necessary. Stop reading now if you don't want to spoil the story of either game. Especially considering that I've already established that Bioshock hinges on the story.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Return to Rapture: Bioshock 2 [impressions]

You wake up dazed and confused in a puddle of water in a dilapidated room. Ten years ago, you were charged with protecting a little girl from harm. As she runs on ahead looking for corpses, you hear her scream. You rush on ahead to find her only to be hit by a strange blob seconds later. A woman walks in holding a pistol and you feel compelled to obey her commands. She orders you to remove your dive helmet, place her pistol to your head, and pull the trigger. You should be dead but you've somehow reawakened in the same leaky dystopia that is Rapture. Only one thing is on your mind that drives you to move forward: what happened to the little girl you were protecting? What happened to your little sister?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: Mass Effect 2

The first Mass Effect was a major turn off to me. Why was there so much hype around the sequel? In fact, the hype was so big, I decided to borrow my friend's copy of ME1 in order to have a save file ready to import to Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 2 continues the story of Alliance space marine, Commander Sheperd. In the first Mass Effect, he finds out that a race of hyper advance, sentient machines, The Reapers, will someday return from the void beyond the galaxy to wipe out all life as we know it. I steer away from mentioning story elements to spoil the game, but as soon as you boot the game up, Sheperd is killed in action five minutes into the opening cinematic. He's brought back to life however by the mysterious Cerberus group, a pro-human radical organization who truly believes in the threat of the Reapers unlike the majority of the population who dismiss them as a myth. Sheperd continues his quest under a tense truce with Cerberus knowing something bad is going down in the galaxy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let's talk - Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Spirit Tracks now stands as one of my favorite DS games with genuine integration of it's technology. Look at Pokemon and how it's popular. Yes, it is, but because the game itself is good. It doesn't really do anything to take advantage of the the hardware. It uses it for convenience, like selecting attacks, but that's about it.