Archive

Archive for October, 2012

New directions that francises need

The video game industry, probably more than any other form of media, suffers from a severe case of “sequelitis.”  For last several years the biggest games released had some number attached to the name (or even worst when developers take a misguided cue from the Resident Evil movie franchise and add some vague “edgey” subtitle like revengence or ascension, looking at you Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.) Developing games is an enormously costly affair and the most likely reason for so many sequels is that developers and publishers are unwilling to pour money and resources in an unproven IP. As the cost of making a triple-A game is constantly rises, we as gamers must accept the fact that sequels are going to become the norm.

Yet this is not inherently a bad thing. Yes it seems that we get sequels that   only provide marginal improvements to the previous title (still looking Assassin’s Creed: Revelations) but every now and then we get a sequel that takes the franchise in a whole new direction. One example of this could be the hotly anticipated Bioshock: Infinite that takes some concepts from the beloved Bioshock series and puts in a whole new area.  We’ve been contemplating where some of gaming biggest series, some of which desperately need a new spin, could go in order to give the heavily sequeled out industry more fresh big name titles.

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Deadlight Review

Heading into this year, Deadlight was constantly on those list of games that gamers were projecting to be a sleeper hit. It had a unique visual style and was a 2D platformer that revolved around a zombie apocalypse. It seems to have the ingredients for an indie game hit. Yet when reviews came out, many of the critics that were once praising the game in their previews tended to have mixed feeling about the finally product. Despite the mixed reviews I decided to pick this one up out of curiously.

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Never too little time to dance the night away

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t make this but I thought it was hilarious

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Games you should be playing but you’re probably not: Mark of the Ninja

Combine an seemingly endless stream of awesome releases coming out every year with a backlog that only continues to propagate (you keep telling yourself you’re going get to those games, but let’s be honest you’re never get around to it) it’s easy to let some amazing titles pass us by. This little series I’m making will hopefully shed some light on these titles that deserve your attention. In full disclosure these are not necessarily full reviews as I may not have completed these games, but played them enough to get them a full thumps up.

 

Mark of the Ninja

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Best Series of this Generation: Portal

Were starting a new series called “Best game of this Generation.” As the title suggest, were going to each day post what our favorite games of this console generation. We tried only include games that began in this generation so this can be a buyer’s guide for anyone who just bought a current console.

Portal

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I Am Anime (And So Can You! [Part 2])

So last time I recommended some anime that I thought would be good for entry-level viewers, which was fine and all, but I kept trying to work in some of my favorites. Rather than restrain myself again, I figured I’d just go ahead and recommend some of the anime I like the most. Maybe you have similar taste, who knows. Once again, this by no means me being some “anime-expert” bestowing my wisdom on plebian viewers (if someone ever claims to be that it’s OK to just ignore anything they say next), just a list of what I like, because I like it when people like things that I like.

*Edit: The last paragraph was lost during copy/paste. It’s fixed now.

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Best Series of this Generation: Dead Space

Sorry for the hiatus (to anyone that cared which we know aren’t many, if any) I was studying for the LSAT and Parker was doing his engineer shenanigans. I promise we’ll update this daily here on in.

Were starting a new series called “Best game of this Generation.” As the title suggest, were going to each day post what our favorite games of this console generation. We tried only include games that began in this generation so this can be a buyer’s guide for anyone who just bought a current console.

Dead Space

Upgrade the TPS formula popularized in RE4, put it in space, and voila, Dead Space. And just like RE4, it’s very fun to play. Using mining tools to dismember necromorphs is always pretty satisfying. But where the series truly shines is its atmosphere. The sound and lighting work that goes into these games is astounding, Visceral even has teams dedicated to shadows and lighting alone. When the first game became a surprise hit,

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

the sequel delivered more of what made the first great with swarms of a variety of enemies and tense situations, and managed to not screw up the transition from silent protagonist to speech-endowed. You can argue that the “horror” element is being dumbed down (and even more so looking at DS3), but I believe that the games are still fun as hell to play, jump scares and vent surprises all.

It’s just like those 50’s sex ed videos said, necking can lead to terrible things

The best comparison I’ve seen for the series is this: DS1 is to Alien as DS2 is to Aliens; both enjoyable, but one is clearly more focused on suspense/horror while the other favors action. Let us hope that DS3 will buck this trend, and we don’t have an Alien 3 on our hands.

Say no to Bro-op in games that don’t need it.