So I finally got around to playing half an hour of Halo 3: ODST last night, and while I'm not planning to write a review of it any time soon, I wanted to comment on the weird experience I had with the game.
I was playing a friend's game, so I just sort of dropped in medias res, and had no idea what was going on plot-wise, so I'm not going to bother commenting on that aspect. What I will say is that for the first fifteen minutes of my playtime I had a blast. So much fun that I couldn't remember why I'd hated Halo 3 as much as I did (by which I mean "not really that much at all").
Those of us that were looking for some real closure to Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit)—the ending didn't live up to expectations—will have to put our hope to rest. While publishers have approached David Cage, co-founder of Quantic Dream, about publishing a sequel—something I find really hard to believe—Cage himself has no interest in going back to that well.
Maybe it's for the best. That leaves him all the time in the world to focus on Heavy Rain. All accounts point to Heavy Rain as a worthy, spiritual successor.
"...there is a kegger down the hall. We can go as soon as I desecrate this corpse. I'm sorry Marge, where are my manners? Did you want to taunt my kill also? Press the "X" button." - Homer Simpson
If you're like me, on the one hand you're thrilled to see The Simpsons parodying videogames... outside of its own videogames (The Simpsons Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game). On the other hand, you sigh sadly with the realization that the masses are seeing one of the less savory sides of interactive play. Why couldn't the writers lampoon Shadow of the Colossus or Flower? Ah well, it was a pretty funny clip.
West Virginia was the first school system in the United States to incorporate a video game (Konami's Dance Dance Revolution) into its physical education curriculum. Now, West Virginia University, ResCare Home Care and the Special Olympics are conducting a study to see if the series has benefits for people with disabilities. According to the very small blurb I was able to find, "Participants will play the game three days a week, for eight weeks. If it is successful, the Special Olympics may consider making 'DDR' a competitive event during its annual games."
In preparation for this week's podcast (just wrapped up recording a few hours ago) we asked readers on the forums what title they'd like us to talk about, and they selected God Hand, from now-defunct Clover Studios. In all honesty, I never saw that one coming.
I picked up a copy back in '06 when it was brand-spanking new, and I think I logged somewhere around an hour or an hour and a half with it before I tossed it aside. I seriously hated the game at the time, my patience for its cumbersome controls and infuriating camera to be basically nil. It also didn't help that the game has an absolutely terrible first level, and does the bare minimum to introduce players to what it's all about.
Just as English literature buffs should be knowledgeable about the heavyweights of the Western canon—Macbeth, Huckleberry Finn, Ulysses, etc.—so too should videogame critics be acquainted with gaming’s megahits, games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and, yes, the Halo series. So, like the English lit student who struggles to wrap his or her head around Ulysses, not because it’s enjoyable but because it’s important, I decided that I should at least try to understand Halo.
When I go through a pile of used games, I usually have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for. I keep tabs on titles that look like solid "maybes"—games that may have a few good points, but are sketchy enough to discourage me from risking $50 buying them new. It's pretty rare that I'll end up bringing something home that I hadn't already targeted as such, but Surreal Software's The Suffering was exactly one such game.
Getting Up is a tough game for me to score. I didn't think much of the concept initially, but within just a few minutes of playing, Marc Ecko's vision crystallized and I found that it was much to my liking.
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