Review – Fable II

For a change of pace over the holidays I went through Fable II, a light-hearted fantasy role-playing game developed by Lionhead Studios and its industry leading founder, Peter Molyneaux. Between the first and second Fable, Lionhead was purchased by Microsoft, meaning that Peter was now in the market of making Xbox 360 exclusives. I was especially curious to see if Peter and his team were going to take special advantage of the console like Epic Games has done with Gears of War. Sadly this wasn’t the case.

Before I get into that, let’s give the good stuff its due. In Fable II you play a hero born from a powerful bloodline, one that allows you to wield magic. A hero hunting villain is hot to kill you in hopes of ending the line and preventing your kind from stopping his plans for world domination. →  Xenoblade Articles X

Review – Prince of Persia

The games and film industries are currently obsessed with the concept of reboots. While this is not a new concept, traditionally reboots are greenlit for franchises that are fairly old, and only when the IP holder feels that it will remain commercially viable after a modern facelift. Certain entities in the gaming world have bucked this trend, prescribing reboots for series that are still currently popular, and have likely had at least one new entry in the last five or so years. From a theoretical standpoint, this makes sense. If you are choosing something to to reboot from a list of modern franchises, it is much easier to determine their viability when your audience still remembers them. It also allows a publisher to continue churning out sequels at a steady clip without the new entries feeling immediately stale. →  Theme Postital

Review – Dead Space

In April of 2007 a man by the name of John Riccitiello began work as the new Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts, one of the two largest video game conglomerates on earth. EA had fallen victim to its own massiveness in the years prior. In order to grow it had purchased and then cannibalized smaller, more imaginative game developers, absorbed the talent into their own offices, and centrally ran all operations.

As a result, the people and projects they assimilated became infected with the shortcomings of the company entire: there was too much bureaucracy and too many levels of hierarchy. This took decision making and creativity away from the game development teams. As a result EA earned a rather poor reputation for making nothing but thin sequels, movie tie-ins, and sports games that did little to differentiate themselves from year to year. →  Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Gray Post

Review – Call of Duty: World at War

As expected, Activision has pimped the hell out of 2008’s yearly Call of Duty release, World at War. The savvier gamers out there have not been fooled, and have spent their energies trashing it before it even got a chance to prove itself. They know that WaW was developed not by series creator Infinity Ward, but by Treyarch, whose two game Call of Duty pedigree has been viewed as less than stellar.

I assert that this judgment was unfair. Big Red One was developed for last gen platforms, and managed to be very clever given its hardware limitations. As for CoD3, the snarky blog commenters betrayed their true lack of intelligence. It should have been obvious to anyone that the game was a stopgap, a way for Activision to “exploit” a favorite moneymaker with a yearly release. →  Ikari Warriors 2: Postery Read

Review – Braid

We can spend a lot of time talking about Braid, trying to interpret it and stamp out a definitive idea on what it is and what it says. There isn’t much of a point in it though. Braid, for all its flaws, is literature, something that has meaning. Anything I say about its message or its power may be quite different from what you would see on a playthrough. What we can do is look at it as a game.

Braid is a puzzle platformer. Some have called it “just a puzzle game with platforming elements.” We saw it with Portal, where people called it a puzzle game and forgot is was also in the first person. I’m not sure why that happened; Portal’s puzzles often thrive on how the player moves and positions himself, so the perspective (and the controls inherited from it) cannot be ignored. →  Reading more, assemble!

Behind the names of our favorite companies and consoles

Gamers speak the names of companies and systems on a daily basis, but many of us don’t know what these words actually mean nor their origin. And so here is a list of many of the biggest companies and consoles and what information is openly known about their names. I speak absolutely no Japanese and have no new information to add to this planet, but I have not seen all this info neatly compiled in one spot before. Thanks to Japanmanship and others who had already done much research on the topic.

Companies


Microsoft – Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems created the microcomputer Altair 8800 and Bill Gates offered to implement BASIC on their system. Micro is either from the Micro in the MITS company name or the micro in microcomputer, or both. →  Oreshika: Tainted Postlines