Something old, new, recycled and blue

I’ve decided to condense two potential blog posts into one topic, as they are both somewhat similar in nature. I should do this more often, as it seems to force me to take my almost article length ramblings and cut them down into something readable. A win for all.

Some time ago Jay wrote a discussion on Mario and how he is anything but a throwaway character. Interesting then that a “games editor” at Softpedia (a site which I have only known before as a place where I failed to get working drivers) has claimed that mascots like Mario and Sonic should be locked up in a museum and never put into another game, starting right this minute. His reasoning is that they are old and stale, and offer nothing new to the gaming table, hurting the industry more than helping. →  Eh, I've got nothing better to do.

Retrospectives – Halo Single-Player Campaigns part 3

In this continuation of the Halo single player retrospective I will look at…

Story/Presentation

Again, the most enjoyable Halo in regards to story and presentation is Halo: Combat Evolved. In 2001, we didn’t know what a “Halo” was or meant. With the first game, we were introduced to the Forerunners, the Covenant, and the Flood for the very first time, and it feverishly sparked our imaginations, with the player trying to figure out what kind of universe Master Chief was living in. This happens a lot with games in general. The first game is far more potent in terms of story than the sequels, as you’ve already experienced the same style of storytelling in the first game. From our perspective, the most innovative is the first one. All the rest are just walking down the road that the first one paved. →  Nobody puts article in a corner.

Review – Guitar Hero 3

Guitar Hero 3 does a lot to make me question game reviews. Or should I say, it brings to light many of their problems.

As I expected, it loses out with much of the standard, value driven review sites. While it stays afloat in many reviewer’s minds by adding online multiplayer and more tracks, it has also been grilled for things such as lack of create a character (a criticism I actually agree with, if for no other reason than developer Neversoft has been doing this since 2000) or online co-op play. Once a good game becomes a franchise, the stakes become continuously higher, and nothing short of a disc filled to the brim with their checklist of standard game features will make a reviewer happy. It also makes me question how every tacky addition to each year’s Madden avoids getting clobbered the same way. →  Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Bore me and I sleep.

Virtual Console Previews/Reviews – Week of May 20th

Wii Virtual Console:

Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis): One of my favorite games of all time. So simple, yet so amazingly fun … and a great soundtrack, too. I’m still amazed that they can get music that intricate from a console less powerful than my phone. Same-screen co-op makes this game even more fun with a friend. A no-brainer in my opinion, unless you have that Sega classics disc for the Dreamcast.

The Grand Uppercut … the henchman’s most feared foe.

DK Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest(SNES): I was never a big fan of the DK series (except for the original), so I’ve never really played more than a few minutes of either DK Country games. They looked great for the time, but the gameplay felt a little sloppy to me. →  Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about huffing paint.

Doctor, I can’t find a (WipEout) Pulse!

If there’s anyone out there that had a bad day today, I’ve got something to bring that smile back to your face. It’s a Eurogamer interview with Clark Davies, the designer on WipEout Pulse, the sequel to Sony Liverpool’s uber-awesome PSP launch hit, WipEout Pure.

I’ve talked about my chronic love for all things WipEout in a previous blog post, but my heart went through the roof this morning after hearing all the new things they’ve managed to fit in the sequel. Better get some Vicodin for this one, it may knock you into a joy-induced coma.

First off, we have a funky new gameplay element called “Mag-Strips” that keeps your ship grounded to the track. This opens up things like loop-de-loops and other such crazy track formations, but Davies promises it will be utilized for more than “the obvious corkscrew or roller-coaster ideas.” →  Sid Meier’s Alpha Centarticle

What we hope to see in 2007

With a new year comes new hope and a new opportunity to have our dreams crushed.

Stefan —
Saturn Games on the Virtual Console: I know, there are significant disk space problems – seeing as a single game could use up the entire internal memory of the Wii. But if a way can be found, I’m holding out hope for Shining Force III and a NiGHTS re-release with a _real_ 3D Controller.

Panzer Dragoon Saga with motion sensing controls Second coming of Christ

Sony opening the PS3 Graphics hardware to Linux users: This is another one that’s not likely to happen. And by not likely, I mean no way in hell. Allowing direct access to the graphics chipset would essentially let anyone circumvent the price of their dev kit – and would deprive them of licensing fees for game sales. →  It might come in handy if you, the master of reading, take it with you.