Sunday, September 25, 2005


I don't seem to be
happy with any videogames lately. I'm having trouble sustaining any kind of extended play sessions.

I picked up Metal Arms: Glitch in the System. It's a nice looking platformer. Needs an auto-targeting system. Didn't grab me the way Ratchet and Clank did.

Also got Malice. It's . . . strange. Uneven. Interesting bits of plot, very quirky "humor" . . . nothing clicks, the controls are wonky, the levels are self-contained and you can't repeat them. For some reason, there's no way at all to change the controller settings, not that I can find. I'll still play the damn thing -- at least until it sinks to the level of I-Ninja.

Got a small dose of Burnout: Revenge. An outstanding game, an airtight design. I especially like it because with all but the measliest crashes you still get a sense of satisfaction from all the mayhem you wreak.

X-Men Legends II. Great game to play with your friends. It's really just a dungeon crawl, not sure if it's something I would play solo, but recommended if you've got a few more to join you in the rousing beat-em-up action. Tip for the next one: Skip all the dialogue bullshit and central hub -- cooperative play demands quick action. Just string a bunch of linear levels together, let us to run around when the crazy-ass villain speeches are happening and figure out a way for players to level their characters simultaneously.

I'm sure I'll get through my itchiness to play . . . something. Not sure if there's an itch not being scratched or just that I need to take a step back and play some guitar for a week or two until I build up a craving again.

Games I'll check out in, oh, about a year, once they hit the discount racks:

Okami. Gorgeous trailer. A game and a work of art. Liquid visuals. Drink it in.

Bad Day LA. Edgy and topical. It looks like it might contain actual satire - a rarity in games.

Bully. Rockstar has yet to disappoint me. They make the games they want to make - and damn the controversy.

The Movies. A Molyneux game that doesn't appear to have been overhyped to the point of setting completely unrealistic expectations. It looks like it works the way they say - and the way they say it works sounds phenomenal. Time to buy a bullhorn and some spats - Action!


Chris said...

Ah, Malice. Remember the pre-dev hype for this when the Xbox was just an idea, and not a giant doorstop? They announced Gwen Stefani was going to be the voice of Malice at one point. And then, eventually, it was canned. And Argonaut went bankrupt. But somewhere, somehow, they shipped it anyway. It's completely unfinished and a total mess. I picked it up cheaply over a year ago and could not believe how poor it was...

Equally, I cannot believe how poor X Men Legends was. Do Raven not realise that this game is unplayable by a typical Casual player? That the key game skill is remembering to heal? Nice animations though. I haven't seen the sequel, but I find it hard to believe they've done anything to fix the many problems in the game design.

Is Bully being made by Rockstar North? Has Rockstar produced anything interesting using any other studio *but* Rockstar North (which will always be the remnants of DMA Design in my mind...)?

Has the Movies not been overhyped? It's certainly been on the convention circuit for five years now. That's a long time to be promoting a game. Although it's not that long for Molyneux these days. Perhaps if Lionhead *started* with a game design they could be more punctual with their games...

Just my 2 rupees on a Monday morning. :)

Rama said...

Malice turned into the kinda game you give your 8 year old niece/nephew and tell them to go at it. It's the kinda game that teaches you the conventions without really challenging you. It's not for people with any platform experiance beyond mario for NES.

X-Men Legends on the other hand was a not really a game for a single casual player. I must say that if you found yourself constantly healing then perhaps it was just too difficult for you at the time. It's best played with friends and not hard, infact they have a built in mechanism to level if you find it too difficult after the 2nd level. The worst part of it's design were the single player portion of the game that forced you to listen to trivial plot when perhaps battle was more on the mind and the fact that this was unskippable.

Bully, I'm not one to give rockstar my seal of approval before seeing the game in some fashion. I don't love or hate them, but they aren't one of the solid "always winners" for me yet.

The movies has been around forever, and it'll be lacking in some respects, but the SIM portion of it does indeed look good. I'm afraid it's been made almost too casual with the sliders for movie creation.