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My Bated Breath: What I Want (and don’t want) From Ninja Gaiden III.

2 Jun

I’ve seen the teaser trailer and the first handful of screens, neither of which say much of anything.  I’m hoping to get a meatier glimpse of the game in the coming days as E3 gets into full swing, but in the interim, I’ve been thinking about the possibilities of the now Itakagi-less Ninja Gaiden series. What do I want to see in the third game? What do I hope never happens? Some of my ruminations are probably obvious, but I’d say the series is at a sort of crossroads at this point. Team Ninja is under new direction and has an opportunity to do something different. At the same time, they’re dealing with a franchise that is probably the greatest pure action game to ever grace consoles. So, with that in mind, here’s my two cents:

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Cheap Thrills – Alan Wake

3 May

The following is a paper I did for an English class. We were supposed to write a review, so…I did. This is what I came up with:

“But nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King

Alan Wake, a psychological thriller developed by Remedy Entertainment for the Xbox 360, opens with the above quote by Stephen King, and the titular character narrating what seems to be the central theme of the game. According to Wake, the “Why?” is never as important as the emotions one goes through during a horrifying experience. There’s nothing wrong with that sentiment. In fact, I mostly agree with it. But Alan Wake forgoes the “Why?” almost entirely, in favor of nonsensical exposition and repetitive, tired shooting mechanics that would be more at home in Max Payne 3 than something rooted in psychological horror.

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Developers Shouldn’t Use Cliff Notes.

1 May

Right off the bat, I should say that I’m really enjoying Castlevania: Lords of Shadow so far. I’ve only just started chapter 2, but I’m currently appreciating the slow-burn of both the game play and story. Be that as it may, I’ve already found my first brow-furrowing moment in the game. Ever heard of Shadow of the Colossus?

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I’ve Simply No More Room for All Your Dead Space.

26 Apr

I was really stoked for Dead Space 2. So stoked, in fact, that I played it through two-and-a-half times. But in doing so I unearthed most of the game’s flaws, and they’re such that I don’t think I’ll ever play the game again. I guess it’s unfortunate, but at the same time, a game with the kind of flaws I noticed doesn’t really deserve to sit on my shelf. Sorry.

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My First Few Hours with Mafia II.

22 Feb

I’ve only played about 30 minutes of the original Mafia, so I can’t really compare it to the sequel. Among my friends, however, there seems to be some fondness for the title. I started it on my laptop, but I downloaded a patch that bricked the game. Oh, well. I did, however, play the beginning of Mafia II over the last few days, and God, I hate it. With a mini passion, even.

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Life Will Find a Way.

14 Nov

Well, I just finished Jurassic: The Hunted. It’s a short game; it couldn’t have taken me much more than 4 hours to complete. Despite its length, I left satisfied with the experience, and what I’d like to see now is a similar game with a little more time and money thrown behind it. And if that ever happens, it will need a LOT more marketing than this game got.

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"That’s a Navy Seal campfire if I ever saw one."

10 Nov

The quote I used for my title is uttered by the main character….Dwayne? Chris?….I don’t know his name, but that was the first thing that came to his mind when he saw burnt ash and smoke coming from the ground. Fucking A – you can’t make ’em like a Navy Seal. Someone’s skull is probably at the base of that campfire. My brain is now capable of thinking like Dutch in Predator.

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The Wrong Kind of Challenge: Why Demon’s Souls Represents Rudimentary Game Design

28 Oct

The following was written by HoDKurtZ (a contributor) before I switched blog hosts:

Based on the title of this article, it may be assumed by those reading that I would take the stance that Demon’s Souls is not a game worth playing. The reality is quite the contrary. More than anything else, Demon’s Souls is a game that ultimately challenges players to examine the notion of game difficulty, and asks us to consider several questions regarding the relationship between game design and game difficulty: What aspects of a game make it difficult? What is the difference between challenging and difficult? Is there a difference?

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Do You Like to Read?

6 Oct

If so, there’s a very long, but very worthwhile article at Kotaku by Tim Rogers. I couldn’t begin to describe everything he talks about, but he starts off with guns and zombies and works his way through Uncharted and Tomb Raider. I guess I did begin to describe it. Anyways, if you can read and you like games, go read this article about games. I know I’ve told you jack shit about it, but whatever, you know I know what I’m talking about.

Killzone 2’s Controls Are Fixed!!!!!

2 Jul

Yea, this is old news. I just thought I’d share this bit of information for those who didn’t know. I knew about it since the patch went live, but I was waiting for the opportunity to pick it up again cheap used. I already bought it once, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to give Guerrilla my money TWICE. Anyways, the controls are totally fixed now, and I’m having a fucking blast with the game. I’m not done with it yet, and I’m not going to review it since we already have an ass-load of Killzone 2 shit up on the blog. I’ll only say that my happiness level has increased immensely with this much-needed fix, and now I’m definitely going to finish the game. Kudos do Guerrilla for not being total douches and owning up to the fact that they fucked up. That’s something I can’t say for every company.