The next gen consoles then and now

Folks, it has been some time since the “next gen” was actually the next. I think it is about time to call it the current gen, and on that note, I think it is time to re-evaluate the three major players in the race. Much has changed, and my opinion of each console has changed wildly. Note that this is not an attempt to analyze who is going to “win” the console war. I think that it is quite clear that so long as there are games like Wii Fit and Wii Sports released at the right times, Nintendo is going to be unchallenged in total sales numbers.… Read the rest

Mario doesn’t matter

I’ve been avoiding screens and videos of Mario Galaxy because I want to experience it all for the first time when I am actually playing, not drunkenly browsing the web. Still, I can’t help but read as much as possible about the game and cross my fingers I don’t see too many spoilers (though I did see a huge one – whoever it was who first mentioned that thing with the guy and the thing, you know what I’m talking about, please leave the internet).

Many conversations on the game and Nintendo design in general have gravitated towards arguments over the foolishness of bleeding an IP dry.… Read the rest

Expansion Packs, Add-ons, Sequels, and Other Crap the World Doesn’t Need

I love the Sims. I am hopelessly addicted to the nutty little people that live in their own world on my computer. I am so hooked to this virtual crank that each time EA kicks out another goofy expansion pack for it, I bite and grab myself a few new locales or items for my little demented Sims to play with. The Sims is a completely genius game while at the same time, a totally evil one. It is a game that is groundbreaking in a multitude of ways, but for me, one specific trait stands out: The Sims franchise, for better or worse, made expansion packs and add-ons a norm of gaming.… Read the rest

Review – Final Fantasy X

It’s not some startling revelation to say that jRPGs are a hotly debated topic among many gamers, as they struggle to figure out the present and future of the genre. I have absolutely no clue what the developers behind FFX were trying to do, but I know the result of their work is a game that fully embraces what these games have become. It has been streamlined and simplified so as to provide players with something easy, relaxing, and colorful. It’s like an anime Disney attraction where you get to play a part.

Take the combat. It is a system where mages have enough MP to cast plenty of spells, and tank characters can one-hit-kill.… Read the rest

Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior’s Dreams

The first truly new Street Fighter post-SF2, Alpha 1 had quite a legacy to live up to. I remember the commercials for the game, which made it look a hundred times more intense than SF2 with its dazzling array of special effects and super combos. It even had Guy from Final Fight! Unfortunately, the actual product was a huge disappointment for many die hard fans, as it was rushed to release and is obviously an unfinished game. Yet I’ve also seen players reminisce about Alpha’s simple, straightforward gameplay.

So which side is right? I’ll have to agree with the naysayers. Alpha 1 is just too archaic and unpolished to be of much worth these days, especially considering how vastly improved its sequels are.… Read the rest