Ryan’s Ramblings: It’s the thought (perceived or actual) that count

Thanks to things like graduating college and trying to find gainful employment I haven’t posted anything in a good while. The fact that I’ve had trouble coming up with interesting ideas for writing didn’t help much either. But I think I’ve rectified these problems and hopefully will provide quality content for your eyeballs to enjoy.  Anyways I felt the need to address the major event in gaming that occurred since my last post: The xbone Xbox One vs. PS4.

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Bioshock: Infinite Review

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I have to be honest with you. I beat Irrational Games’ latest installment in the highly-praised Bioshock series several weeks ago. The reason I’m only now getting to this review is not sheer laziness, but because I wanted to be as objective as possible. After seeing the end credits of Infinite I was convinced that the previous 20 hours I put in the game was some of the most engaging I have spent with any medium. Had I wrote the review then, it would have been a gush-fest and I wanted to let it settle on me a bit before posting a review.

That said here we are several weeks after my completion after Bioshock: Infinite and….. honestly not much of my opinion has changed.

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Syndicate Review

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When I first saw Syndicate, I foresaw two outcomes on the reception of the game. EIther the FPS reboot of the old pc strategy game would be an underground hit that adds some freshness to a stale FPS genre with interesting sci-fi elements to the traditional shoot-dude-in-face gameplay or it would be a bland shooter with ideas that fail to live up their potential and decried everything that was loved about the original. It was my hope that I would get the former when I bought Syndicate for five dollars on a PCDD Amazon sale, but unfortunately I got the latter. Now I’ve never played the original, so I can’t claim that I was disappointed in the treatment of the long inactive series, but still I can’t help but think that this game begun its development as a brilliant idea but became a copy-cutter shooter over time.

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Irrational did it again

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Let me set the scene for you. I was standing in line on an unusually cold night in at the Gamestop yesterday waiting for my copy Bioshock: Infinite. I normally don’t do the whole midnight thing but its Bioshock thus I will probably rob my grandmother to get my copy (I didn’t by the way.) In front of me were two guys who seemed to be middle schoolers. I thought this by their small stature, the fact a mother was with them (obviously a good parent) and their affinity for skater hats and sunglasses at night (sun never sets on a badass right?) Despite my general distain for such people, I at least had to give them props for wanting to buy a game such as Bioshock: infinite. But then I realized that one of them had an Army of Two mask in his hand, then it hit me. These guys are not in line for the most anticipated game of the last four years but they’re there for the sequel for…..Army of Two.

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Ryan’s Ramblings- Phantom Pain is either really dumb or brilliant (while still being really dumb.

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Okay Kojima, it’s starting to get a bit stupid now. We all know that Phantom Pain is some kind of Metal Gear game, just admit it and stop with the silly promotion. It took the sleuths of the internet all of about 30 minutes to see through the surreal trailer of Phantom Pain at the VGA’s and find all the possible Metal Gear references (not to mention the fact that your posse was rocking Moby Dick Stuidios t-shirts.) At first, I thought “oh that silly Kojima, he’s such a silly trickster” but then this happens

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Games of the Now: Mid-March Edition

I don’t have the time to do full reviews of every game I play, and since most of the time I’m playing less recent releases it wouldn’t do others much good anyway. So here’s what I’ve been playing recently. I’d like to do more lengthy reviews for Dead Space 3 (recently finished it), Fire Emblem Awakening (In the middle of it), and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence (about to start it), but these will have to do in the meantime. If you’ve got any suggestions for similar games to add to my backlog or complaints of how I’m playing the game wrong, feel free to share.

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Ryan’s personal 7 most disappointing games (in recent memory)

There is one word that I think of most that accompanies the current gaming media: hype. Whether it’s a gaming site posting a preview of the upcoming game or a game trailer that whips gamers in to a frenzy, hyping-building is everywhere.

Although I try not to buy-in the hype that game companies are pushing on us, every now and then I can’t help myself. But the problem with falling into the hype is that your expectations become so high that anything less than a superb title will not satisfy. Here are some of the games from the last 10 years that left me wanting. Sometimes it’s a sequel that I’ve been clamoring for and sometimes it’s a new I.P. that seems like a breath of fresh air, but all built me up only to tear me down. Some of them are good or even great games, but just couldn’t live up to the hype.

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Thief 4 Announced- Thoughts

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Today, Game Informer confirmed that Thief 4 is this month’s cover story.

The series, which has been dormant since 2004 with the release of Thief: Deadly Shadows, is often credited with being one of greatest and most influential stealth franchises of all time. Many of the games that allow us to be all sneaky-like draw immensely from the steampunk/fantasy stealth gameplay of Thief. The developers of two of my favorite games of 2012 alone, Mark of the Ninja and Dishonored¸ have said that the Thief was one of the inspirations for their stealth gameplay mechanics.

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Ryan Ramblings: Ex- Bioware doctor’s “bear hug” EA comments

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Last week Greg Zeschuk, one of the founders of Bioware who recently retired, made some interesting comments about the super publisher EA. He said this in an interview with Polygon:

“I think one of the reasons that we survived and succeeded within EA was that our company was mature enough and there was enough good people throughout to handle the EA bear hug — something that is well meaning but vigorous. We needed to be strong to survive that and I think we did and you evolve from that as well.”

Many gamers, maybe rightly so, seem to have unbridled hate for EA. EA is blamed for a lot of the gaming world’s woes it seems, including the “broification” of games series they bought, DRM, and the trend of over-milking of series. And while I think that there is a good level of truth to the hate that EA gets, I don’t think that they are the pure-evil corporate headed by Mondus from the new DMC (expect a review soon, Yay!!!)

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I think that EA still provides some good to the gaming scene and Zeschuk’s comments kind of confirm that feeling. He said that the “bear hug” from EA comes with good intentions but can consume a developer. I interpreted this to mean that while EA does have a large influence on the developers they publish, they provide the money and marketing power to boost a product. I remember the large amount of marketing and the sharp increase in production values that came with Mass Effect 2 and I’m not sure it would have been the same game without EA swooping it. Now you may not like what ME 2 was compared to 1, but myself and many others liked it more than the first and in part we have EA thank for that. At the same time, I think that EA’s push to get ME 3 and Dragon Age 2 out the door is in part to blame for some of the problems with those games (either that or Casey Hudson took some acid before writing the Mass Effect finale) so I in no way love EA, I just understand them. They’re a company and like any other they want to make as much money as plausible which leads them to push out titles and make them more mainstream to get a wider audience. Still without EA I’m not sure if Dead Space or Crysis, two games I really enjoyed, would have had the same success.

What do you think about the doctor’s comments? How do you feel about EA in general? Let me know below

 

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Backlog Review: Atelier Totori

January 30, 2013 4 comments

  GQAzX

Playing new games is overrated. Here’s a review of something I played semi-recently instead. Check it out. Or don’t. Read on to find out.

As much as I want to, I can’t play every game series. That’s the harsh reality of my life. So it goes. Every so often I’ll see internet-goers talking about a series I’ve never played and take notice, make a mental note to look into it, and go about my business. Certain niches of the internet are quite fond of the Atelier games, a series I was completely unfamiliar with. So next time I browsed a game store and saw Atelier Rorona (and later Totori) for $20, I figured “what the hell?” and went for it. After sitting in my pile of “Games to Play Next” for a few months, I finally dove into the Atelier series.

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