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No Time Left for You

I had a moment in my life recently where I realized I was different.

Younger me would have gone absolutely apeshit over Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. Not only is it a game in one of my favorite franchises, not only does it have brilliant art direction, but it is a subtly tactical, brilliant puzzle game, the kind of thing I would have adored.

But older me is playing it, not younger me. And older me has come to a startling realization: so much of this game, games in general, is busywork, and I cannot enjoy that anymore.

I’m grinded out on grinding.
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New Skyrim Details Include The Possibility Of No Horses?

Oh November, it saddens me to think that you are still…..*looks at phone calendar* 6 months away! Oh well, it gives me time to get my computer ready for Skyrim! I love the entire Elder Scrolls series. Yes, even Oblivion: who cares it wasn’t like Morrowind?

Anyways, the guys over at IGN have got some exclusive low-downs on some of the newest features and ideas coming to Bethesda’s latest installment in the series. This includes the possibility of not having horses as a mode of transportation. (I’m guilty of purchasing Horse Armor….don’t laugh!)

Here’s a video of the interview with Todd Howard explaining the new leveling processes and their development :

Click on the picture for all of the juicy details over at IGN!

Piping hot Mass Effect 3 details emerge

My favorite things about Game Informer exclusives is that they try so hard to keep things secret, and then everything is blown open and their well thought out feature (as well thought out as Game Informer gets) is reduced to small bullet points in a forum post that makes reading their article pretty meaningless. It’s pretty much my favorite thing.

Anyway, following this cut be Mass Effect 3 details, and WHAT THEY MEAN.
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Review: Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age 2 is the oddest bird I have played in ages. It’s what you get when people who really don’t want to be making role playing games make one anyway. It tries to follow the Mass Effect blueprint, by tearing out all the negatives reviewers pointed out in the previous game, distilling the game down to an unadulturated positive experience.

Of course, there is a major difference. Mass Effect was a game with simple, obvious flaws: the combat was a little off, there was too much generic exploration, and the story, while good, featured a lot of characters who were not especially memorable. We can pretty much all agree why Mass Effect wasn’t perfect. On the other hand, if you put ten fans of Dragon Age: Origins in the same room, you would have ten completely different sets of complaints. Some people felt the combat was boring, some felt it was confusing, and others felt it was the best in an RPG in ages. Some people loved the story, the “generic” quest to defeat a horrible evil race, and some people loved the silent protagonist and the complicated dialog system. Others didn’t like those things. Some people liked the scope of the game, others felt the characters were bland and unlikeable.

A lot of the problems with Dragon Age 2 can be traced to the fact that it is a game built to mechanically correct the flaws of its predecessor. As it is, however, I want to go at it in as pure a way as possible, and not compare it to Origins in the slightest. Well, that’s not true. I plan to spend a second or two on it at the end. But it’s very much it’s own beast, and deserves to be tackled as such.

Unfortunately, as such, Dragon Age 2 is a mediocre game that is soulless and forgettable fun.
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Dragon Age 2 Impressions

Yes, friends, another impressions post. Obviously, I have not completed Dragon Age 2. Nowhere near it, actually. While I do plan to, in this case, wait until completion and write an actual, honest to god, “serious merits of this title” review, I also wanted to give you, our faithful reader, something of an idea of how the game stacks up.

We’ve picked an auspicious day to do this, though, what with the shit hitting the fan over the EA Accounts devils banning you from playing games and some secret DRM shenanigans. All this adds up to a lot of awkwardness on Dragon Age 2’s part, and we haven’t even gotten to the game yet.

But we will. Oh we will. In bullet points! With a real review to follow.
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Review: Cthulhu Saves the World

There aren’t enough games made about Cthulhu. Point of fact. Ancient, eldritch alien evils of insanity are, frankly, a lot better than grandstanding idiots, various varieties of demons, and the lord Jesus Christ. This is empirical fact.

And hell, Cthulhu Saves the World shows that those eldritch evils make fine Japanese Role Playing Game protagonists, too. Heck, I’d take the shirtless, tentacled majesty of Cthulhu over Tidus any day. This is another positive development in the history of Western civilization.

There are two audiences for Cthulhu Saves the World, the newest game from Zeboyd Games, creators of Breath of Death VII: Cthulhu maniacs and old school JRPG fans. The game succeeds in short, brilliant bursts for the first crowd, and in a long, sustained burn for the latter.

I am in both groups, so you may take me saying this is a great game and the best role playing game of 2010 with a slight grain of salt. But it really was. Sure, I’m going to pick a nit in this review (and, frankly, it’s pretty large), but that does not detract from the overall experience, which is phenomenal and falls among the best games I played last year.
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Hyperdimension Neptunia is what the fuck?

Okay, I know I said I’m going to stop caring about new games, and I make no illusions that this is not the first time I have made excuses to post about new games, but I’m making an exception because this game looks, literally, batshit insane. And it’s coming to America, so unlike posts about Xenoblade and The Last Story, it’s relevant to your interests!

I…there are no words for this game. It’s unfortunate that all these promising RPGs have been pushed back to the same two week period of time in late February/early March, inexplicably to avoid competition with first person shooters, because I honestly cannot justify purchasing this game. Which is depressing, because this is a game about video game consoles that transform into sexy ladies (one of whom sounds like she’s voiced by Michelle Ruff, aka Yukari “Hawkeye” Takeba). Seriously.

There are no words.

ME3 Outed, Takes Place/Involves Earth?

The EA store has confirmed what I’m sure we all already know: ME3 exists, and we know this because they accidentally put up a listing for the game up in their store (and took it back down right away, but we have screenshots thanks to Joystiq.) Of particular note would be the description, which reads as follows:

“Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth.”

Earth is burning? Could ME3 see is finally visiting Earth? I would assume, if Earth is involved, this guarantees that the Illusive Man is involved…Earth is the keystone for humanity, no?

I will also note that it’s too bad they already used the ‘impossible mission against impossible odds’ trophe in 2, though it’s interesting that they say it’s a final mission….logistically, 3 marks the end of the series but do we have control over whether or not Shepard survives the mission?

Questions! We will probably know more once the VGAs roll around, because I’m going to bet that this is the title they unveil. This would explain why the gun held by the man in the screenshot we’ve all seen looks like a ME sniper rifle: it’s in the ME universe.

Catherine has gameplay!

The internet is a funny place. Andriasang has reported that there is in fact gameplay in Catherine, and everyone there seems to be pretty okay about it. The rest of the internet, though, seems to be taking this as some sort of horror. Oh, no! The gameplay is pushing blocks to escape from Vincent’s nightmares? And not a JRPG? HEAVEN FUCKING HELP US.

I mean, a person with half a brain could have figured out the gameplay would be running, in some fashion. The way it seems is less scare based and more “solve this puzzle before you fucking die!” which sounds like a pretty neat mechanic. Personally, I’m still sold, because I think the guys at Atlus can pull off a puzzle based horror game much better than an actual horror game. Remember the horrible Jack Frost puzzles from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne? Yeah. This is a game full of those, plus horrible babies with chainsaws through their eyes.

So I’m really baffled by why western audiences seem upset over this. What better gameplay could there be? Vincent collecting dream animals and using them to fight off his horrible nightmares? Oh, that was what you wanted. A video gamey video game. Right. I forgot.

Catherine’s Action Part Detailed

Indie Impressions: Epic Dungeon

What happens when a lot of independent developers on the Xbox 360 get together and promote each other by starting a big event? That’s right, we don’t miss games like Epic Dungeon.

In all respects, this is the kind of game you skip over on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, as you’re scrolling down the list of new releases. Everything about it screams generic: the name, the graphics, the concept, everything appears as generic as can be.

Funny thing, though. Generic doesn’t mean bad, when it is backed up by peerless execution. And Epic Dungeon is as peerless a roguelike as can be found, on Xbox Live or anywhere.

Of course, here comes the qualifier: if you don’t like brutal dungeon crawlers, then you probably won’t like Epic Dungeon. The game is suitably epic: 1 character, 50 floors, thousands of monsters out for your blood. While it’s not as hardcore as some roguelikes (the only stats are health and oil, the latter determining how far you can see at any point), it’s still plenty tough. I’m not a stranger to the genre, and the furthest I’ve gotten in four hours was the twenty third floor. The fiftieth floor is merely hearsay, but I plan to get there one day.

Where Epic Dungeon succeeds is in the details.

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