iPod Gaming Report

Now that I have owned an iPod Touch for several months, I figured it was time to come back and report on the iOS gaming experience. The only problem is that there hasn’t been much of an experience to speak of. I bought quite a few games, most of them highly acclaimed, and only played a handful of them. This is, in a way, a good thing. Since the games were so cheap, I didn’t waste more than a few bucks on bad purchases, and it taught me quite a bit about this brave new world of gaming.

Specifically, it is no different than the old one.… Read the rest

2010 Favorites

I know, I know, it’s February 2011, and here I am with a 2010 retrospective. The truth is that this has been written and ready a while now, but only now have I remembered to post it. Keep in mind that these are my personal favorite games of 2010. If one of your faves isn’t on here, chances are good that I simply didn’t play it.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

I put Kirby’s Epic Yarn on this list with a few caveats. I find that the game is significantly more interesting with two players, and in my personal experience, is even better when at least one of those players isn’t particularly good at video games.… Read the rest

Potent Portables

So both Sony and Nintendo have revealed their next generation handhelds. I suppose it is time for new hardware in the portable space, though considering I only got a PSP in 2007 (and a DS in ’08), these launches still feel premature based on my own time with them. I’ll probably treat the 3ds and PSP 2 the same way I did their predecessors — I’ll largely ignore them, and wait for the price drop, the hardware to be revised, and the software library to improve before I make any move. In the dedicated console space, hardware revisions don’t mean too much (I don’t know anyone who is embarrassed for having an original 360, and people are proud of OG PS3’s), but with portables they can make a huge difference.… Read the rest

iOS Gaming Thoughts, Part 1

Warning – this is a rambling rant, based on little experience. It is all speculation on my part – I’m not saying these things will happen, merely musing on what it could mean it they did. Don’t take it too seriously.

As I mentioned on the VL Twitter feed, I now have an iPod Touch. I guess that means I should take a serious look at some iOS games.

I’ve mentioned it briefly in the past, but I’ve been a supporter of iOS gaming, even if I haven’t played on it. The hardware is powerful and plentiful, and the motion control/touch screen combo can be used to great advantage by clever developers.… Read the rest

Review – Ys Seven

Ys Seven is a momentous release for developer Falcom. It is the first Ys game developed natively on the PSP, and it is also the first game in a major licensing deal struck with publisher XSeed Games. Westerners can finally play an original Ys game exactly as it was intended, rather than through a shoddy port.

Anyone excited for their first taste of this cult franchise will be sorely disappointed, however. If you’re looking for an introduction to Ys, you’re better off with Oath in Felghana, or the upcoming Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles. As for Seven, it isn’t an awful game, but even someone as hardly experienced with Ys as I am can tell that it isn’t the best showing the series has to offer.… Read the rest

Review – Ys: The Oath in Felghana

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a modern remake of Ys 3, one of the more radical entries in Falcom’s long running franchise.  While the first two games were top down adventures in the same vein as Zelda 1, Ys3 is a side scroller similar to Zelda 2.  The promotional website for Oath in Felghana goes into detail as to what the remake entails, stressing that it expands upon the original without heavy alterations or retconning.  I can’t say for certain if it succeeds in this regard, but I can take a guess, because Oath is an excellent game on its own. … Read the rest

The Ride of Your Life

Gran Turismo 5 is out now, after years of development time and a daunting number of delays, including a few last minute announcements which left retailers stuck with incorrect ads and preorder cards, and no reliable information for customers as to when they can expect the game .  The end result is that the biggest release in Sony’s most iconic franchise is being met with confusion and ambivalence.

After all this, the question is simple – was it worth it?  The jury’s still out, but the early reviews are coming in, and the good ones all express the same common feeling about the game, even if some of the final scores are typically inflated. … Read the rest

Gadgets and games – when to move on?

One of the nicest things about this console generation has been the lack of concern over the next generation. At the very least it demonstrates that the industry isn’t entirely insane. Microsoft might have put the original Xbox to bed too quickly, but at least its successor, the 360, has been in it for the long haul. Game consoles are damn expensive, and it is a nice feeling to be able to go several years worrying only about what games you want to buy next, rather than how you will be able to afford another “investment” of several hundred dollars.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before some writer decided it was time to declare this generation dead, and this small essay is one of the first pieces I have seen so far.… Read the rest

Review – Half Minute Hero

Half Minute Hero is a wonderful little game, but it is also one which, in my experience, was  poorly described upon release. It features several modes of play, but one of them, labeled “Hero 30”, compromises at least fifty percent of game time.  As a result, this one mode received the majority of attention from the media, and this skewed perspective is what caused me to lose interest in the title.  I couldn’t believe that its core concept could sustain itself for any length of time, and when it comes to Hero 30, I was correct in that belief.  Yet while the other modes are significantly shorter, they’re also a lot of fun, and their existence makes the whole package worthwhile.Read the rest

Medal of Honor and Today’s Market

The new Medal of Honor game is out this week.  The reviews have been wishy washy at best, the sales will probably not reach Call of Duty levels, and once again, we should have all seen this coming.

A game like Medal of Honor is frustrating for me.  I can see what it is striving to achieve (aside from make EA money), and I know it is an impossible goal.  The most heavily hyped aspect of the project was how it was made with input from elite soldiers who took place in some of the earliest operations in the current war in Afghanistan. … Read the rest