In between projects at the moment, I spent most of my game time today (which was not much) checking out the various Community games I've downloaded over the last few weeks.
Every Wednesday when I check out the new stuff on Live, I make a point of looking at the new Community offerings and queue up the trials for a day just like today when I want to play something, but I'm not quite ready to commit to something substantial. Anyway, I think I tried something like ten or twelve different titles, and only one of them was worth a damn.
Called Trino, you take on the role of a small, aquatic-looking life form that creates triangles in space. The point of it is to trap enemy creatures within the triangles to earn power ups and move on. It's sort of half-puzzle, half-action, and it has a very polished and "complete" feeling to it. I didn't spend a lot of time on it, but I paid for the download happily and I'll be getting to it in short order.
While Tim takes some time off to enjoy his new son, we present our very first bonus episode! In these deleted scenes from Episode 14, you'll hear a great segment on how casual games relate to Heather Chaplin’s GDC rant, and then we try to answer that classic gaming question “What is the Citizen Kane of Video Games?” Our answers will shock and amaze you. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, David Stone, and the very sleepy Tim Spaeth.
I'm pretty interested in this Ghostbusters videogame that's due out in June. I think that's because it's like a national law that anyone my age (37 later this year…) love Ghostbusters in general. If you were around the age of 12 when the first film hit, it was probably one of your favorite films. And since it's that rare childhood favorite that still holds up when viewed as an adult, a whole generation still seems to love anything Ghostbusters related.
GameTrailers posted the opening cinematic video from the upcoming game—and I'm impressed. They really nailed the feel of the first movie and I was surprised how much nostalgia this thing inspired in me in the span of a few short minutes. My only complaint is the expository dialogue from the one guard (nice information dump there, guys…), but everything else looks great.
Check it out for yourself and see what you think. The game makes its retail debut on the PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PC, PS2, and Nintendo DS on June 16th.
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.
If you're my age (37 later this year) then odds are you and your friends spent a large portion of your childhood lusting after Alyssa Milano. Let's face it—was there really any other reason to watch Who's the Boss? I rest my case.
Variety is reporting that Milano has been hired to voice the female lead in the game, which sees the return of the entire original cast, minus Sigourney Weaver (who declined the offer to return). When asked about replacing Weaver, Milano offered the following:
"Obviously, fans of the movie are going to miss Sigourney Weaver. I have so much respect for that character in the movie that I hope I do the position that she is in justice. I was just flattered to be asked to be part of Ghostbusters."
Milano will be voicing the character of Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, the brainy guest curator of a "World of Gozer" exhibit at the Natural History Museum.
Ghostbusters hits video game retailers on June 16th. It's available for the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Nintendo DS.
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?
Finished Manhunt (PlayStation 2) today for the first time. It was an interesting experience. Although it certainly lives up to its reputation as being an extremely graphic and gory game, there was a lot more to it than just that… the story and setting (death-row convict is rescued from the chair only to be thrust into a kill-or-be-killed game of hide and seek) were engaging, and the work with tone and mood were excellent. The stark, brutal feel and incredibly bleak outlook of the game’s entire world were very well-realized. There's also quite a bit of meat to chew on for people who like to delve into meta-commentary, but I'll save that for another post.
When we asked you to pick any game for us to discuss, we certainly didn't expect you to pick God Hand. But you did, so we did. Plus, what makes a critic a critic, Streets of Rage 2 (no, that's not a typo), and at long last, Chi Kong Lui on River City Ransom. Warning: This episode contains a revelation that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth.
This has been an eventful week for downloads on the PlayStation 3. Flower and Noby Noby Boy are now both available through the Store, and although I think it's correct to put them both in the same general category, my reactions to both couldn't be more different.
Flower is fantastic. I don't necessarily think it's the second coming as some seem to report it, but it is most definitely the kind of thing that makes a player step back and re-examine their entire conception of video games.
The great film director Howard Hawks once said that "A good movie has three great scenes and no bad ones." Lately, I've taken to pondering how this sentiment might apply to video games.
When I think about big cinematic games like God of War, Resident Evil 4, Call of Duty 4, and Metal Gear Solid 4 (damn, that's a lot of games with "4" in the title), I think the formula holds. These are all games that, for me anyway, never really had any bad parts, and had at least three great segments that really stand out in my memory. I can still vividly recall fighting the giant hydra, clashing knives with Krauser, getting hit by a nuclear blast wave, and riding a motorcycle through an eastern European city. I'm a sucker for games that give me only a few amazing moments, even if the rest of the game never rises above being merely not bad.
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