By Brad Gallaway on January 30, 2009 - 2:44am.
I'm still catching up with games from 2008 that I never got a chance to get around to… this week, I'm trying Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the 360. I'm definitely a Star Wars fan (although less so since the new trilogy ruined everything) but I've got to say that so far, this one fits into the canon pretty well and I really like the tone. Playing as Darth Vader's secret apprentice is a neat concept, and LucasArts nailed his character design—his costumes all exude a sort of low-level wraith-like quality, and although I'm sure that there are only a finite number of ways to carry a lightsaber, this new "behind the back" style is pretty hot.
By Brandon Erickson on January 28, 2009 - 10:24pm.
I've been noticing lately that I've developed a fairly strong preference for short, linear games over the more open world "sandbox" style ones. Taking a look at some of the games I've played recently (e.g., Call of Duty 4, Gears of War 2, Portal, Mirror's Edge, Grand Theft Auto IV, Far Cry 2, and Fallout 3), I can see a clear pattern emerging in terms of what games I'm more likely to go back to, or in some cases which games I'm simply more likely to continue playing through to completion.
I'm also starting to believe that the whole idea of the nonlinear, free roaming game as some sort of holy grail for the medium is a bit bogus. We've already seen some pretty damn amazing open world games, but what I'm discovering is that there doesn't seem to be anything particularly earth shattering about these games that, for me, makes them feel that much more profound than the more scripted stuff.
By Richard Naik on January 23, 2009 - 6:20pm.
"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction." —Albert Einstein
HIGH Effortlessly running, jumping, and climbing across the entire game world.
LOW Lightseed collection gets extremely monotonous.
WTF The final "battle" where your opponent is apparently a drunk Pokémon on steroids.
By Brandon Erickson on January 22, 2009 - 10:05pm.
In an effort to prepare for Metal Gear Solid 4, I've recently been playing some of the earlier Metal Gear Solid games. And while it's been really fun for the most part, it's also brought to mind some of my gaming pet peeves, not just related to MGS but to games in general.
What triggered this for me was being reminded that MGS doesn't allow the player to pause during cut scenes. I was at the end of MGS2 when I suddenly found the need to pause the game. I think I knew at that point that I couldn't actually pause, but I had no choice but to try. So I hit the start button and suddenly the game fast forwarded to another section, apparently bypassing a whole bunch of end-game exposition. As a result, I had to reset the game, load my most recent save, and fight a whole bunch of enemies and go through a long boss fight just to get back to the cut scene that I missed. It was absolutely maddening, and it baffles me that the developers wouldn't include such an obvious feature, or why any developer wouldn't include that feature, especially in a game that is so heavy in cut scenes.
By Brandon Erickson on January 14, 2009 - 8:57pm.
Having received LittleBigPlanet as a Christmas gift from my dad, I've finally been able to experience the game that many have been touting as the first must-own PS3 title. Now that I've sunk a significant amount of time into Media Molecule's little opus, I thought I'd share some of my impressions.
First and foremost, LittleBigPlanet is a thoroughly charming, feel-good game. It's almost impossible not feel at least somewhat upbeat while jumping around with the cute sack people. The snappy soundtrack, the funny expressions of the sack folk, the playful toy box-style aesthetic, the humorous tutorials, everything comes together to form a remarkably charming package.
By Gene Park on January 14, 2009 - 7:59pm.
Two articles touch on the subject of experience behind a game critic. The most recent example is MTV's Stephen Totilo not being adept at basic moves for Street Fighter II, a heralded and historically important game series.
As video games mature, so does its criticism. Totilo and N'Gai Croal bring a certain air of legitimacy in the mainstream media that many other writers in the industry lack.
However to maintain a level of balance and fairness, a critic needs to be very well rounded.
Doing a hurricane kick in Street Fighter is as basic for a gamer as what a film lover would do in citing a movie like Annie Hall or Citizen Kane.
Sure a gamer need not necessarily need to grow up in that era, or be heavily involved in the culture.
But imagine if a movie critic knew nothing of Annie Hall? Or Raging Bull? Imagine a videogame critic not even knowing how to do the most basic move in fighting games?
As long as the critic is forthcoming about it, I don't think any credibility would be lost.
However, and more importantly, I would know who to trust less.
By GC Staff on January 14, 2009 - 5:03pm.
By Guest Critic on January 14, 2009 - 5:02pm.
Beauty plunged into darkness
HIGH The beautiful art style and incredible palate of color.
LOW Simplistic gameplay that fails to provide a challenge.
WTF Why is Elika encumbering this game?
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