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.
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.
Lately I have noticed what I perceive to be a troubling trend in the design of WRPGs and JRPGs set in fantasy worlds. Think about the major titles from both of these genres: Dragon Age, Final Fantasy, the Tales series, The Elder Scrolls, The Witcher, Dragon Quest, all have one major design element in common. They all draw inspiration from European medieval folklore to create their fantastical worlds. Castles, knights, trolls, dwarves, elves, and medieval weapons are staples in these games and it’s starting to get a bit tiring.
I feel like WRPGs developers can receive a bit of a past for the continual use of these troupes. After all, in all likelihood a good amount of the people work
When you start up Bioshock, you’ll know in the first 10 minutes of the game how you’ll feel about it. The plane crash and subsequent discovery of Rapture is one of the most impressive opening minutes of any game out there today. If the underwater ride through the Any Rand inspired city gone wrong doesn’t captivate you and urge to want to explore all of what the game has, you may not hold Bioshock in the same esteem as the throngs of people, like myself, who do.
Whether it’s a game series, a developer/publisher’s games, a TV show, or whatever, there are those who get so frustrated with the direction a series is going that they decide to drop the whole thing altogether. The series could be dropped because the quality is in decline, an unexpected twist is not received well, or any number of reasons. I didn’t make a habit of dropping series in which I had invested a lot of time. The good times were good, and though there may have been bad times, surely it was only a momentary lull. I’m not losing all faith in a series just because its latest titles was less impressive, or not as appealing to me (Metroid, Paper Mario, Golden Sun, Castlevania, and Resident Evil seem to fit this description for me). Dropping something seemed like an overreaction, or even a false claim by attention seekers. It would just feel wrong, strange even, to cease all interaction with something after having enjoyed it so much before.
As anyone with knowledge of the renegade antics of everyone’s favorite puncher-of-journalists, Commander Shepard, would know: We have a thing for the Mass Effect series. We love the universe, (my favorite sci-fi universe, if we don’t count Blade Runner), the story, and the amazing cast of characters. From having bro-out sessions with Garrus and Wrex to charging the Collector’s homeworld, We had a blast doing it all. Parker and I were in a solid agreement that The ME series was one of the best (if not the best) in current generation.
After watching the show a couple weeks back, here are the grades I would award each of the press conferences. Because assigning arbitrary letter grades, from a regular video game player’s point of view, to a company’s presentation of its product lineup for the benefit of investors is something I like to do. No minus grades because I hate them.
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