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Brad Gallaway's blog

The Pitt, Community adds, clouding, and a crab

I just completed Fallout 3's newest DLC, The Pitt. It was a lot shorter than I expected it to be, and I have to say that the story progression and how everything ended up kind of left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth…

Fallout 3: The Pitt Screenshot

I don't want to ruin anything for those who haven't played it yet, but let's just say that although the appearance of having choice in what happens is there, the reality is that it's a lot more narrow than it first seems. Still digesting it, though.

MadWorld, GTA: Chinatown Wars and gaming with my son

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Screenshot Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Screenshot

Picked up Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on DS a couple of days ago. Tim Spaeth from the podcast was raving about it, and if I'm not mistaken, I believe the words "game of the year" were in there somewhere. I hadn't originally intended on picking it up, but after hearing his praise I decided to take the plunge since I had a little extra trade credit on hand. In terms of production it's certainly got everything nailed down tight and I am impressed by the ability of programmers to pack so much onto the DS, but in all honesty, I got quite bored of it almost immediately.

Not feeling Street Fighter IV and other musings...

Street Fighter IV Screenshot

Am I the only person who's not completely bowled over by Street Fighter IV? I had a mad urge to run out and pick up a brand-new copy on the release day, but I held out in an effort to stick to my budget, and wow... I'm glad that I did. I finally got a chance to put some time into it and I've got to say, it left me a little cold.

For some reason, I thought the graphics would be better (and yes, I'm playing on an HD set). It's not just the resolution or whatever, it's that the actual art direction is just weird. The characters look kind of cartoony, kind of not… it's just odd. Besides that, the hit detection seems kind of wonky to me and I've got to be honest in saying that none of the characters really float my boat. Rufus, especially—I mean, how did that guy ever get off the drawing board at Capcom R&D?

Eden Studios finally gets Alone in the Dark right?

Alone in the Dark: Inferno PS3 Screenshot

A couple of days ago I finally located a copy of Alone in the Dark: Inferno for the PlayStation 3. I'm not a huge Alone in the Dark fan in general, but prior to the game's release for the Xbox 360, there had been quite a lot of talk from the developers about different ideas they were trying out, and their approach to making something they saw as fairly revolutionary.

…Of course, it ended up accumulating countless negative reviews and extremely poor word-of-mouth. Last time I checked Metacritic, the 360 had an average score of 58. Basically, pretty much everyone who played it hated it, and it crashed and burned spectacularly.

After this potent feedback, the development team at Eden Studios gave the game a radical makeover and fixed many of the things that sunk the first release. This new and improved version (PS3 only) was subtitled Inferno, and despite addressing the concerns, this release also went nowhere. Currently, a brand-new copy can be had for $20 or less, and last I heard, any hope of a sequel has been utterly destroyed.

The Dark Spire Preview

The friendly folks over at Atlus were kind enough to share some preview information about their upcoming game The Dark Spire, and so I'm passing it on to you…

The Dark Spire Preview Screenshot The Dark Spire Preview Screenshot

If you like your RPGs old-school, and I mean old-old-school, this game should definitely be on your radar.

Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier Preview

Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier Preview Screenshot Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier Preview Screenshot

Another sneak peek at upcoming Atlus goodness, this time around I've got some shots and info on Super Robot Taisen OG Saga Endless Frontier. (Whew, that title is a mouthful.)

I don't have a lot of dirt on the game at the moment, but what I do know is that it's an RPG with a sci-fi setting, most of the female characters are ridiculously endowed (sold you right there, eh?), there's tons of sexual innuendo, and the combat system takes place in real-time—I've heard a few people compare it to Xenogears in the way that each battle plays out, but I cannot confirm or deny that. I can confirm the cleavage, though.

Capcom expects me to pay for Resident Evil 5's versus mode?

Don’t get me wrong. I really like DLC when it's done right, and it's something that I think is going to become a very vital part of the industry, if it hasn't already. (And really, I think it already has.)

That said, certain companies and their practices are really starting to piss me off.

Resident Evil 5 PVP DLC Screenshot

In my mind, it seems to me that the proper role for DLC is to extend the life of a game after it's been out for a while and would ordinarily have been put aside in favor of newer releases. Perfect examples would be something like the add-on missions for Oblivion, Mass Effect or Fallout 3, each new piece of content able to reignite interest in games that would likely have been traded in or covered with dust on a shelf if not for the knowledge that something else would be coming down the pike. A trait common to all of these is that their core games were all unquestionably complete in and of themselves, including all the trappings we'd expect.

Quick looks at Lara's Shadow and Ninja Blade

I've fallen into a routine of trying to update the blog at least once every two days, and I don't quite get how I end up having busy days and late nights every time I need to post something. Guess I gotta work on my timing. Still, the show must go on…

Tomb Raider Underground: Lara's Shadow

Started playing the new Tomb Raider Underworld DLC today, titled Lara's Shadow. In a neat twist, this time around players take control of the evil doppelgänger that's been causing Ms. Croft so much trouble, and I must say it's rather entertaining.

Hammerin' Hero Preview

Hammerin' Hero Screenshot

Developed by none other than Irem (makers of seminal shooter R-Type, personal fave Disaster Report, and others) this little guy and his hammer set out in an adorably irreverent and slightly absurd adventure.

Demo Impressions: Wanted, Wheelman, Watchmen and Riddick

It was a good week for demos this week, or at least, there were several new ones to take a peek at. Oddly enough, a full 50% of the demos I spent time with featured Vin Diesel's electronic likeness. His star may have faded in Hollywood, but find it interesting that he's still trying to make a mark in the Uncanny Valley.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Screenshot

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena. I was a big fan of the first Riddick game on Xbox. It was sophisticated, the graphics were cutting edge, and the game itself was much better than the source material that inspired it. As great as it was back then, based on this demo, it seems as though the industry has passed Riddick by.

To start with, the segment of gameplay featured in this demo was a horrible choice. It seems to be taken directly from the middle of some longer series of tasks, and doesn't show the stealth element that the first game was known for. Level design was in the "interstellar drab" style of metallic hallways and doors that look like walls, and there's an odd section where the player is asked to take control of a "drone" and leave the body of the main character. It might work just fine in the main game, but in a demo, everything here felt like it missed the mark. The graphics (another high point for the first title) weren't at all impressive, either… with clunky mechanics and unimpressive visuals, what was this demo supposed to show us?

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