Sparky Clarkson's blog
By Sparky Clarkson on September 24, 2011 - 3:30pm.
Bastion is a game with marvelous art, a wonderful soundtrack, and solid mechanics, but it was not sold to the public on the strength of these aspects. Rather, it was sold on its storytelling system, in which a narrator responds to what the main character (called only the Kid) is doing. In the game, however, the narrator actually does relatively little of this, and Bastion's plot is thinly realized, offering little insight into its characters and their motivations.
By Sparky Clarkson on September 9, 2011 - 5:00pm.
During the "Females on Female Characters" panel at PAX East 2011, Susan Arendt argued briefly in support of Tripitaka (Trip), a character from Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. This appreciation seemed bizarre to me, so the moment stuck in my mind. Enslaved was a gorgeous game with phenomenal voice acting, decently expressive gameplay, and very bad writing, of which I thought Trip was a prime example.
By Sparky Clarkson on August 25, 2011 - 12:07pm.
Really, who didn't see this coming? Ubisoft has a richly-deserved reputation for hating on the PC, and From Dust's DRM and terrible port can hardly be a surprise in light of the company's past actions. Ubisoft's upcoming Driver: San Francisco will probably also have this asinine DRM—Ubisoft claims it will not, but a similar claim was made for From Dust.
By Sparky Clarkson on August 14, 2011 - 5:56pm.
My understanding is that Rage will still be playable from disc, albeit with a notable performance hit. It's a little silly to be outraged by this (no pun intended), despite Microsoft's ludicrous price-gouging on hard drives. The existence of the hard drives always made this sort of requirement a temptation, and PlayStation 3 owners have already "enjoyed" mandatory installs for some games.
By Sparky Clarkson on August 12, 2011 - 6:40pm.
I must begin with a disclaimer that I didn't like Shadows of the Damned very much, and I'm not sure if I'll bother finishing it (this coming from a man who didn't even give up on Flower, Sun, and Rain). The gameplay is standard, if unusually finicky, third-person shooting that borrows a stun mechanic from Alan Wake, the art direction is not particularly interesting, and the humor is something I'm about 20 years too old to appreciate.
By Sparky Clarkson on August 5, 2011 - 5:16pm.
It had to be done, given the below-expectations sales numbers and widespread hyperventilation over them. The DS also had a slow start, in terms of both sales and software, but that was before mobile phones were the most widespread handheld platform. As such, a price cut may not be enough to save the 3DS.
By Sparky Clarkson on July 30, 2011 - 1:21pm.
The worst reason to hate Final Fantasy XIII is because of its linearity. Non-linearity doesn't necessarily improve a game, and following a constrained path doesn't necessarily make it worse. All Final Fantasy games, including the most highly praised ones, have been essentially linear in both story and world design.
By Sparky Clarkson on July 25, 2011 - 3:04pm.
Despite respectable review scores and reasonably good sales, Final Fantasy XIII is widely derided, for many good reasons and a few bad ones. Defenders of the game often point to the battle system as the game's saving grace. I found myself sharing the sentiment when I played through the game recently.
By Sparky Clarkson on July 17, 2011 - 9:05am.
I initially had a hard time writing my review of Red Faction: Armageddon. I almost fell into the same trap that caught me in my review of No More Heroes 2, another game that essentially abandoned an existing open-world concept, of reviewing the predecessor rather than the sequel. This was an enticing prospect, because I liked Red Faction: Guerilla a great deal, and I did not like Armageddon one little bit.
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