Monday, September 26, 2011

Ni no Kuni

I can't say that I'm a fan of Studio Ghibli's movies, but I never argue how cute they look. I also think their stories never lack depth, secret meaning, dreamy-like surreal atmosphere - just the perfect ingredients for an epic fairy tale. I just hope they get the recipe right.

Looks beautiful, combat system seems interesting, Ghibli's involvement promises some good storyline, that spells awesomeness for me! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

People die . Gamers ...

Never really thought of it till now. I got an eerie feeling reading the post .

"I may sound overly sensitive but this is what we will be eventually. An idle account. A virtual room filled with toys waiting for you to come back and play with them. Frozen in time."
On the other hand .. i guess it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is immersiveness necessarily a good thing while reviewing a game?

Usually when I do the things I like, i involve myself deeply with them. In some of them more than others, but for every one at least to a degree to temporarily reduce the importance of every other thing. Playing games is one of the things I like, and I do it whenever I can with great passion.
But onto the question from the title (which essentially is the reason for this post.)

Let’s have an example with a more .. realistic nature. Since not every one likes video games ( although i like to think that the people who visit this blog - all 4 of them, DO :) I’ll make an analogy with everybody’s familiar topic - relationship and romance. So, let’s say I have a partner whom I love very much, I love myself for loving her and I love everything because of that. Let’s say I’m immersed in her. I’m lost in her personality, or I think it’s more suitable to say that I’m *found*. Anyways I like spending time with him/her A LOT. Let’s say I am forced to form an opinion about that person. If I go with my gut, and form an opinion coming from my feelings and state of mind my judgement will be flawed because I’m in a position when the good trhings greatly outweigh the bad. On the other hand, if I try to judge objectivelly, I will have to break the immersive bond and will have to watch over from a distance. But then I will not enjoy myself as when I’m immersed, because I’m into “analyze” mode.

Now let’s take the same example with games. There is a game that you love playing, a highly immersive game, and you wan’t to make a review about it. If we put things graphically, where does the reviewer stand ?

1 - Grants him objectiveness but deprives him from the fun. He studies the game instead of enjoying it.
2 - Vice versa.
Ideally he should be somewhere in between, but is that really possible?
Or maybe he’s supposed to shift between them at certain points. If so, when?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Incubation : Time is running out

Unfinished business is a great motivator. Also one of the main reasons for re-playing an old game that I played and loved in the past. I remember that I bought pirated copy of this game in a compilation CD along with AAA titles like Quake 2 and such, without ever played a ... tactical squad action game before. But the game was corrupted near the very end , and there was no torrents back then so I was forced to quit it.

Anyway, i now got another copy (also pirated :) and had another go. This game is released 1997 so I would not comment the graphics and the quality of textures, I can only say that if you're into that retro style graphics the visuals will appeal to you. At least, they won't be a distraction.

The game itself is said to have a lot of stuff inherited from X-Com (which I can't confirm since I haven't played it) which means that you manage a team of space marines pitted against an alien threat. The game is essentially consisted of 2 phases, team management and combat. In the team management well, you manage your team :) in short : you can buy/equip gear, apply earned experience into several categories and all that stuff, and you can use your team members in the combat situations that follow. It's very simple, yet very addicting combo. The combat mechanics is relatively easy to learn, especially since the concept has been copied and improved over and over (I had the same out-of-the-world locked-in-a-room experience with Jagged Alliance 2 afterwards)

The singe player game has a relatively short campaign (like around 5-6 hours) but the missions offer a great variety and each require different approaches to reach the goal (defend position, reach certain point, survive, kill a certain alien..) so it's packed with fun and in most situation moderate strategizing for succeeding the mission. That's actually what makes it a fun game. Viewing it as a puzzle game.

I think it's ungrateful to rate a game from 1997 fourteen years later, and I also can't really recommend anyone to play a game this old but it was as I said - unfinished business :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Super Mario is not one of the best games

I'm really annoyed when i see a top 10 or top 5 list with Super Mario in it. I really don't get all the hype. I mean - Yes , I've played it avidly when I was a kid but a top 5 best game ? Really?

It would be like forming a top 5 list of best superheros per se, and put the stuff I was watching when I was a kid like He-Man in there or god forbid - Captain Planet (and yes , I've seen people actually do that :). Super Mario is a great game, really fun platformer, but IMHO it does not have best game material compared to some of today's titles. Especially since there are so much more developed platformers which even for people with different tastes are better than Super Mario in several (if not all) aspects of the game. 
Trine, for example. You can do shitload of things there, with multiple characters, as opposed to mainly  jumping, kicking bricks,collecting coins and stepping on several types of enemies.

Super Mario will always have a special place in my heart, but if we decide about games by heart alone then it's bad judgement. As it is with all things in life.