Archive for June, 2008

Spore Creator.

While it’s been out for a week or so now, the Spore Creator has been released.

I’ve been following Spore for a while now. It seems like it’s been forever in development, and we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as it nears completion. When the Spore Creator came out, I thought it would be very simple, and I’d just fool with it for a few minutes and move on. After all, it’s the heart of the full game that I’m interested in, and I want to immerse myself from the start.

I was wrong.

The creator in itself is fun, and really allows you to make some neat little creatures. I created one named “Jeffrey”, who looked pretty similar to the xenomorph in Alien, and, according to his biography, had “Once punched the Devil”.

What started as a simple few minutes of fooling around became much more focused as I became intent on not just creating a creature, but a really awesome looking creature. And then getting into the behavior mode to set moods and dances and then taking photographs…

If this is just one feature of the game, I’m going to be Read the rest of this entry

Riz-Zoawd Info.

For me, the DS and PSP have become my new havens for RPG goodness. From Crisis Core and the World Ends With You, to the upcoming Final Fantasy IV and Sonic Chronicles, it’s been a good year for good old-fashioned RPG greatness.

Riz-Zoawd looks great. It’s based on the Wizard of Oz universe, and as a classic film buff and owner of two evil cairn terriers a la Toto, I had a soft spot for the stories growing up.

Some screenshots are finally starting to appear, and I dig the art style. I just hope we’ll see this game come stateside eventually. I wonder if it’s just a new take on the series, or something more twisted and weird like Alice? The art style says “no”, but I really like the “fairy tale for grown-ups” aspect, and would like to see this as a real questing sort of game.

I may post more as I find things.

Swooping To The Defense.

Ha. I figured last night’s subject would spark off some debate, as I got a few messages from people telling me that I “just don’t get it”. Actually, I do, but I realize my last post was a bit long-winded, so I’ll summarize my thoughts in this post:

I have no problem with “casual” games as a gaming genre. I do, however, have a problem with the sheer number of developers and publishers that attempt to prey on this new wave of gaming consumers by releasing quick and easy low-quality titles in order to feed into this frenzy of “casual-mania”. The hype isn’t going to last forever, and it’s up to devs to start putting out better quality titles that have new and original ideas. Otherwise, the interest is going to fade, people will move on, and the shelves are going to be flooded with these crappy titles.

While it’s great that Grandma is now a gamer, she’s not going to buy 15-20 titles a year like your average 20-30 something will. But I think “casual” gaming by definition should mean “accessible to everyone”. A bad game is a bad game, and even if it’s the Read the rest of this entry

Are "Casual" Gamers Stupid?

As a whole, probably not, but it seems that the developers and publishers of late seem to think so.

Where does one begin with the whole term “casual” gamer, the new industry buzzword that separates this new audience of gamers that are new to the hobby versus the “hardcore”, who have been doing this hobby for 10, 20, 30 years now?

For the record, I consider myself a “hardcore” gamer. My gaming diet began with an appetizer of the Atari 2600 and full-blown ’80’s arcades. From Intellivision, Colecovision, and the Apple IIc, I went to the NES, Sega Master System, and on and on and on into present day. I’ve played games most people have likely never heard of, or probably never will. I’ve played imports and quirky, very Japanese games that would make one scratch their head in wonderment. And I played Wii Sports, which I thought was novel upon the Wii’s release. But I don’t play party games, or these new so-called games that proudly uphold this new “casual” moniker, and there’s a very simple reason why:

Most of these titles are crap.

But it seems “casual” goes to three categories: Newcomers to gaming in general, children, Read the rest of this entry

My Latest Titles.

I’ve been playing my DS and Xbox 360 these days. DS RPG fans, I’d highly recommend The World Ends With You. It’s a cool twist on the RPG story set in modern day Japan, with a story that seems to slightly hint at the concepts in the cult movie Battle Royale (at least to me, anyway). The music is great, and utilizes the DS in some pretty impressive ways.

Otherwise, I’ve been spending time with the still-new 360. XBLA has put out some great titles of late. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a particularly notable action-RPG from the Penny Arcade guys. Honestly, it’s really nice to see a game made by people who are genuinely gamers, and not some demographics slapped together by some hotshot marketing team on what we’re supposed to like. It’s short, and more pricey than other XBLA titles, but it provides a fun experience. I’ll be curious to see if the Strong Bad game for WiiWare follows suit in terms of quality, but I have a feeling it will.

Roogoo is also another surprise. It’s a fun puzzler that is finally something that is not trying Read the rest of this entry

The Polybius Legacy.

Those who know me know that I have an affinity for gaming oddities (Sneak King, anyone?), but then I heard about this game: Polybius.

It’s some crazy, urban-legend, government controlled title that supposedly caused gamers to go insane, and honestly, I’ve never heard of it until today.

Supposedly, the company Sinnesloschen revived its website and there’s a demo and screenshots on what the game was supposed to be, but who knows if any of it is valid and accurate?

Still, the supposed shots look interesting (if eye-straining), and if I ever saw it, I’d want to see what it’s about. Thing is, what people report to have found varies greatly in their screenshot depictions.

So who knows? But I’d like to see if anyone that stumbles across this blog ever finds anything on it, and what the deal is.

This is SUPPOSEDLY what the game is like. I’ve watched it all the way through, and while I’m not bright light-seizure prone by any means, the video is like staring at one of those optical illusion things, and did mess with my eyes, so you’re forewarned. I never saw the player ship move either, so again, who knows if this is Read the rest of this entry

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