Review of an Insecticide interview

Insecticide is a recently released adventure game featuring shooting levels. It was developed by a team composed of several of the people responsible for some of the great adventure games produced by LucasArts over the years.

And it got some pretty bad reviews. With a Metacritic score of 55/100, it’s looking less and less like an overlooked gem. Reviews so far have tended to enjoy the adventure aspects, and have almost universally panned the action/shooter sequences.

IGN offered Mike Levine (who worked on The Dig, Sam and Max Hit the Road, and The Curse of Monkey Island among others) a chance to respond to the negative reviews. The interview is available here, and reading it was one of the more disillusioning experiences of my gaming career.

Now I want to be clear. →  Read the rest

Lucasarts alumni set to spray the Insecticide

In a near-ZOMG moment, GameCock, the game-cocky indie publisher, has announced the new adventure game Insecticide for the PC and DS, which is being developed by the same people that brought you Grim Fandango, Curse of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, and Sam and Max Hit the Road. If that pedigree doesn’t get your panties all in a bunch, I don’t know what will.

Set in a future where insects have become the dominant race, “Insecticide’s gameplay puts players in the shoes of bug detectives charged with the task of investigating a mystery of epic proportions.” Color me ultra-tickled pink on that one.

I really am proud to see the once legendary gaming genre come back with such vigor these days. And I’m gonna have to say it’s all because of the DS. →  Read the rest

A manifesto on Manifesto Games with a review of The Shivah for added value

Greg Costikyan’s name comes up a lot when it comes to indie game development. Apparently, the man has worked on a few games and written some fiction in his life, and somehow he has become a major voice on independent games. He seems to believe that indie games can and will crush largescale publishers and end their greedy and bullying practices. To help do this, he has created Manifesto Games, a place where indie developers and fans can join together to buy, discuss and promote the best in indie gaming.

I have a lot of respect for Costikyan’s ideal, but every time I read anything written by him, I can’t help but feel that he’s batshit insane. Maybe that is too strong of a phrase, but he certainly reminds me of college students who worship indie anything like a religion and still think that communism can actually work (after all, his site is called Manifesto, and its splashed all over with red). →  Read the rest

Review – Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright has turned into somewhat of a cult classic in the past few months. I remember hearing about Phoenix Wright in Japan (named the Gyakuten Saiban series) for the GBA back in the day. The games (there are three in total) were immensely popular, going straight to the top of the charts. I really didn’t understand why, though. I just thought it was a Japanese thing, like those pachinko and horse betting games they have there. I mean, how fun can it be to play as a lawyer? Apparently, pretty damn fun.

On the outset, Phoenix Wright is merely a point-and-click text adventure. It’s heavily based on its storyline, well, because pointing and clicking is as fun as milking a cow (not to make fun of Harvest Moon fans). If the story wasn’t solid, the game would fall flat on its face, and thankfully, Phoenix Wright doesn’t disappoint. →  Read the rest