Archive for January, 2012

Preview: Resident Evil: Revelations.

3DS continues to stay on the right track by introducing demos for games in their eShop (now if only they would tidy up the format, we’d really be in business). Regardless, the ‘Shop in question has introduced a demo of Resident Evil: Revelations.

I gave up playing the demo for RE5. It just felt frustrating and too non-Resident Evil for me. And don’t even get me started on that stupid knife….

Yet here I am with a new game, and I liked this one.

The first thing I noticed is that the “claustrophobic” feel from the original game is back. Cramped corridors, that sense of dread in opening a new door, random beasts jumping out of you while inside a room. I don’t know what to make of the new creatures in this game, but they were far more inspiring, and I uttered an expletive or two as I ran out of ammo and had to run (okay, so I’m a terrible shot).

The “scare” feeling was back. The tension felt higher instead of “Oh geez, another nasty looking thing shambling towards me.” My time was hoping that the next door I opened wasn’t going to have some Read the rest of this entry

Fight Against SOPA.

I normally don’t add much of a non-gaming slant to my blog, but SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is threatening to take away our freedoms regarding the internet, and entertainment media. And yes, that includes video games.

Essentially, the government can control what we can and can not view. We could be held liable for lawsuits in posting pictures of intellectual properties (simply posting a picture of Zelda on your blog? Nintendo would be able to sue you for it).

The problem is, while putting a stop to piracy is an understandable enough desire for businesses as our world’s media becomes more and more digital, it’s so broadly, vaguely, and poorly written that freedom of speech would pretty much just dry up and die when it comes to the internet. The government would control the internet, how it’s run, and what would be allowed to put online. It’s a staggeringly unconstitutional proposal.

A huge amount of sites are opposing it: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon, AOL, Reddit, Mozilla, LinkedIn, IAC, eBay, PayPal, WordPress and Wikimedia. Even our President and his administration refuses to support this monstrosity.

If you’re interested in the January 18th movement, more information can be found Read the rest of this entry

CES 2012.

Honestly, I don’t know why all the gaming blogs and websites really talk about CES. To be perfectly candid, it barely has anything to do with video games at all.

Mostly, CES is about HD and 3D TVs, car audio, cases to protect your phones and tablets, and a few other things. It’s like a high end flea market, though the feel of going booth to booth and seeing the same thing only slightly repackaged in each one never seems to really escape you.

There was some video game stuff, however. Sony had about 8-12 Playstation 3 games tucked away on a tiny walkway, and Microsoft was promoting Kinect the same as they did last year. If there was anything else, it was impossible to find, and let me tell you: I walked a significant portion of the show floor between the Convention Center and the Venetian, and even went up a few floors. It’s not like the Nintendo Powers of old, or the second coming of E3. And I didn’t expect it to be. But with gaming consoles becoming more multimedia outlets, is that not the very definition of “consumer electronics”? At an expo, Read the rest of this entry

Quick Update.

It has been a super busy week for me with work, but I wanted to check in as I know I have a lot of info. to update, including my week’s trip to CES (Don’t get too excited. You’ll understand why after my report, but there was a personal surprise for me, which I’ll detail because it’s fun).

I will say that in bringing my 3DS to CES this week, I didn’t get quite as many StreetPass tags as I would have hoped over the last three days (about a dozen), or as many regions added to my locations list (2 new states here, and 2 regions of Japan), but at least I can take my 3DS out and finally get signs of life on the thing. I’m sure Christmas helped matters a lot.

Also, Zen Pinball (thanks to SuperPhillip for reminding me that it’s NOT Pinball FX as found on the Xbox 360). It’s available for download on the 3DS as of today (for us in the States), and finally, Nintendo has allowed for an online system to be properly implemented in a game. If you download it, we can all attempt to crush each other’s scores. Read the rest of this entry

Revising A System.

It’s amazing how a system update can either make or break a system. For this particular entry, I can actually site an example of both. In this case, I wanted to discuss the differences between the new Xbox dashboard versus the 3DS update.

I’ve been on the fence about Microsoft’s “evolution” with the Xbox. Between the introduction of Kinect, and the attempt to recreate the nuances of the Wii (one system that NEVER updates, and at this point, never will), they’ve broken down the easy to navigate style, and somewhat utilitarian functionality of the Dashboard. Certainly, it was simple, but it was to the point. Something that I appreciated.

The last updates change introduced a lot of “whooshing” sound effects to every motion you made (which was thankfully able to be disabled), and while different, was manageable enough to compensate for and become familiar with. I wasn’t a huge fan of 2010-2011’s look in comparison to previous years, but “eh”. What can you do?

I do not like the new interface. At all.

At this point, I sound like a broken record. Or perhaps I’m more set in my ways than I care to admit. Read the rest of this entry

VVVVVV: Post-Script.

While I still have a few “End of Year” games to discuss, after having beaten(!) VVVVVV, I had to talk about it.

The above mentioned title, with its six consonants, is very similar to the other punish-fest Super Meat Boy. Both have simplistic graphics, both have catchy music, and both games have you dying. A lot. A LOT.

Players step into the anti-grav shoes of Captain Viridian as he looks for his lost crew in this dangerous and unstable dimension. The graphics are monochrome and very simplistic, not unlike a Commodore 64 or early computer games. All of this, of course, is just a backdrop for the gameplay, but the characters have a charming appeal to them regardless.

The game itself is there to beat you senseless, however. It’s all purely a matter of timing, or figuring out the fiendish trap that the room lays out before you, or just simply being fast enough. And yet, for the number of times that I did in any given room, I never felt cheated, and it never felt unfair. This wasn’t BS design. This was challenge, and it puts a platformer enthusiast’s skills to the test. Read the rest of this entry

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