- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Fable 2
- Mirror's Edge
- Fallout 3
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Castle Crashers
- Bionic Commando: Rearmed
- Mega Man 9
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
- The World Ends with You
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
- Soul Calibur IV
... And many, many more! This year has delivered a huge; gigantic even, pile of amazing games! I remember thinking that last year was a great year for gaming with games like Bioshock and Call of Duty 4, but damn, this year has been nothing short of superb!
I would go as far as to say that this has been among the best year of gaming ever. Right now I can't think of any other year with so many great games.
'97 was great too, with games such as Diablo, Mario Kart 64, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, GoldenEye 007, Final Fantasy VII, Fallout, Grand Theft Auto, The Curse of Monkey Island, Quake II and Gran Turismo.
Following '97 was of course '98 with a some super games including StarCraft, Fallout 2, Metal Gear Solid and Grim Fandango.
As I said, last year was great, this year was even better. If next year tops 2008, it'll be a true haven for gamers! We already know of some games like Bionic Commando, Street Fighter IV and of course Terminator Salvation (woohoo!).
I can't wait to see what 2009 will have in store, but at this rate I'll doubt I'll get disappointed.
I consider myself to be a big fan of the Fallout-franchise (Black Isle Studios) loving both Fallout and Fallout 2 while thinking Fallout Tactics was a more than decent strategy game. I haven't played Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for the "last-gen consoles".
After only two play-sessions of Fallout 3 (Bethesda), I had played for about 15 hours. Today, almost two weeks later I have about 20-25 hours of play.
I haven't touched the game for over a week.
Somehow, I don't miss playing Fallout 3. I'm not intrigued to see what happens next or to discover new areas to venture.
As I said, I love Fallout and Fallout 2. Even today I enjoy playing them. When talking about the games with friends I get excited! I get happy! I'm thinking about how fun the games are, the quirky characters and the great sense of humor even though the game takes place in a all but happy setting.
When thinking of Fallout 3, I don't feel that at all. Somehow, it has very little appeal. Admittedly I've spent many hours on the game, especially when I just got it. If the game wasn't any good at all, I would never dedicate that much time for it.
Allow me to draw the conclusion that when playing the game, it's exciting enough and motivates me to keep on playing. So the gameplay isn't at fault here.
The problem with the game is therefore getting me to actually sit down and start the game. But when reminiscing about Fallout 3 I keep thinking about the unappealing aspects.
Instead of thinking about how fun VATS (the combat-system in the game) is (which it really is!) I think about how tedious the game often becomes when I haven't been in a fight for hours. How unexciting it is when I crawl through the sixth railway-station with nearly no lights.
The environments in Fallout 1 and 2 are quite bright but rugged and teared down. They also use some colors which makes the game a little easier on the eyes. Of course, by today's standards they aren't pretty.
In Fallout 3 however, mostly everything is dark. Way too dark if you ask me. And it's eerie; some places seems to come from a horror game like Alone in the Dark (Eden Games) or Silent Hill (Konami) with corpses laying around, bodies hanging from the ceiling with spikes through their torsos and stuff like that. That's doesn't resemble the original Fallout-world in any way!
On top of that the game uses only two colors with some shade-variations; brown and grey. It's so boring and uninteresting it kills me. I understand what they're trying to do with their run down world and everything but I can't respect a decision like that when the result is such a plain and dull esthetic style
Gears of War (Epic Games) only uses grey (not even brown!) and they manage to have it look good. Shame on you Bethesda.
Not only do I find the environments uninteresting (graphics-wise, the content is good) but also ugly. That's right, I said it; ugly. I don't think that quantity is ever an adequate excuse for having the game look less good. I understand that having huge worlds requires some serious optimization and the amount of time available for polishing for each square-inch decrease but for me as a player and not a developer, I shouldn't have to take that into consideration. Players don't care about the magic we call technology, they (we!) only care about what's presented.
I realize this is becoming a post majoring in bashing on the graphics in Fallout 3, so I'll stop now.
Laughter. I love it. I don't get much from Bethesda. Fallout 1 and 2, even though not perfect games in any way have some really funny stuff. Things that'll make you smile and show your teeth whether you want to or not. That's not the case with Fallout 3.
During my 20+ hours I've only found one really funny scenario and that's about 10 minutes into the game when I asked a kid if his mom had boozed up all of his family's food-coupons. Serves him right, stupid kid! Other than that, the game just isn't funny. It's just dark and gritty. Not very Falloutish according to me.
Maybe it's because I've somehow manage to miss and evade every funny thing in the game but if that's the case, that's a major flaw within the game.
It probably sounds like I hate the game. I really don't. I like it a lot. I intend to finish the game at least once, playing as evil of course. I just think it's sad that the game somehow manage to burn all the not so good things with the game right into my brain, making me lose the urge to play it.
If the LittleBigPlanet-release (a game I'm still playing everyday!) hadn't been just a few days away from Fallout's, causing me to leave Fallout for a while, then maybe I wouldn't feel this way about it. If Fallout had been the only game I got during a time span of a couple of weeks, then maybe I would love the game. Y'know, if I'd just kept playing it and playing it as I did in the beginning, not giving myself the chance to see if I actually miss playing it if I don't.
When thinking about the game, I don't smile. That's too bad really; I wanted it to be everything it could have been.
This has really made me realize presenting a steady stream of interesting scenarios and creating pleasant memories is a vital part of game design.
So uhm... I haven't posted anything in a while and I'm not sure my excuse is adequate. For the last week and a half, pretty much all I've been doing except from work is gaming.
Usually, I don't game that much because of lack of time. But really, this fall is too good to pass up. I figured there is a part of the 24h-cycle I haven't fully made use of; the night. So listen to my symphony of the night! I've stocked up on energy drinks and when I get tired I'll drink some. Of course, this isn't a valid method for long but right now I have both Fallout 3 and LittleBigPlanet so drastic measures are needed.
Though, let it be heard that I haven't forgot about the blog! I've secretly been writing on a couple of posts (one on graphics and one on the "magic circle") and shortly I'll post my thoughts (not reviews!) on Fallout 3 as well as the happiest game in a long time; LittleBigPlanet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzAAgtZ7V4 (avalible 14/11-08)
LittleBigPlanet, the game with a following resembling a religious cult in which I've been a member since the early days.
The game finally had its european release today but I was fortunate enough to have it waiting for me with the rest of my snail-mail when I got home from work.
I played for about 4 hours yesterday before going to bed. Unfortunately the servers were all down for maintanance so I didn't get a chance to try out any of the online features or any kind of multiplayer.
Of course, after all the hype and all my intense daydreaming the first 20 minutes or so wasn't "all that". It felt great, for sure, but it wasn't the naïve religious-like extatic super wow-feeling I somehow had come to expect. But it grew on me, in less than an hour I was completely sold.
The moon-landing physics when moving around felt a bit weird at first but once I got used to it, it worked like a charm.
I still haven't tried and built anything so I can't comment on it except to say that it fear that it'll feel a bit tedious to use the pop-it menu.
I'll be gone for the weekend so I won't have the chance to play it more untill next week or maybe sunday night, but once I've tried out the level building tools, the community and of course the local and online multiplayer I'll let y'all know what I think.
Problem is... I still haven't finished Fallout 3 either. So little time...
Oh, by the way! Right now my Sackboy looks totally rad in his giant sombrero and long manly moustache!
It's just silly... But I respect it.
This is the weekend I was supposed to be playing LittleBigPlanet. I pre-ordered my copy a while ago along with a LittleBigPlanet T-shirt.
As many of you already know; the game was delayed due to that in one song from one level in the game, two lines of the lyrics may be offensive to some...
We learnt yesterday that there is a lyric in one of the licensed tracks which some people may find offensive, and which slipped through the usual screening processes. Obviously MM and Sony together took this very seriously. LBP should be enjoyable by all. So within 12 hours of hearing about this issue involving a lyric (in Somalian, I believe!), Media Molecule had prepared an automatic day 0 patch and had a new disk image ready; however a decision was made within Sony that the right thing to do for quality and support of people with no on-line was to replace existing disks. They assure us that they are doing everything in their power to get things straightened out as fast as possible, and will announce dates soon.
Media Molecule Blog (17/10-2008)
I understand and I respect the decision as they do put up some valid arguments. But for me, the unoffended guy in Sweden, it sucks!
Penny Arcade recently published a great comic about it all:
Gabriel: I don't really get the LittleBigPlanet recall. Some of the stupid songs is the least of their problems.
During the beta, I played a level where you fly a plane into the Twin Towers.
That shit is going on the evening news.
Tycho: It's user-generated content, though.
Gabriel: You think your mom cares about that? Nobody knows what that even means.
Chris Hansen is going to come on, and show a level where Sackboy bombs his school.
When that happens, we are all well and truly fucked.
Not only will I now have to wait untill early November to get a chance to play LittleBigPlanet but it will also greatly collide with me playing Bethesda's Fallout 3 (please god, let it be great!).
I've been a huge fan of LittleBigPlanet since the first video was released a couple of years ago and my interrest has grown over time. However it's not just the content creation elements that I like. Sure, they might be great but I'm deeply in love with the art-style as well. A technical impressive plattformer is also a selling point for me. Plattformers are among the most fun game genre (btw, I don't like to use "genre" when it comes to games, but more about that some other time) to play if it's just simplistic fun you're looking for.
I'd buy the game even if it was released without the creation tools.
"The game is soooo Games 2.0!"... That's what a lot of people are saying and I hope they're right. I want it to be all it can be but I see it more like a step in a good direction. Obviously, not all the players will create levels and only a very small amount of the ones who will, will continue doing so for a long time to come. But I believe the game will sell quite good and if even only 1% of those people will keep creating levels, there will be more than enough content to play.
My hope is that all the reviews out there are right; that the game without the creation part alone is great!
I talked to a collegue yesterday who's had the change to play it (bastard!).
It was the first time I really felt I wanted a Playstation 3. That game alone is worth the money for both the game and console.
And to that I say: Thank you! That's exactly what I wanted to hear!
I like what I've seen of the editor so far. It seems easy enough to use and let's you create some inzanely crazy stuff! There's a guy who've created a calculator that can add and subract, god damn it! I know I will spend many, many, many hours creating content, both myself and along with friends. I'll do some artsy levels, some experimental, some totally random, some... Well, pretty much all I can think of. However, I'm afraid the lifetime of this thing won't be nearly the same as with the "real editors" used in the modding communities. There's nothing strange about that though. Unfortunately I don't think the PS3 controller is the optimal input device for creating. The PS3 can handle both a mouse and keyboard, why not let us use that if we want? (Or do they? If they do, just ignore me.) Although I don't have a doubt in my mind that the tools are greatly adopted for the controller at hand, so don't get me wrong.
As a level designer, I know how to use several editors, including Valve's Hammer, Epic's UnrealEd and Grin's internal editor and quite frankly; I wouldn't want to use any of them with a 360 or a PS3 controller.
Well, I guess all I can do now is wait and try it out once it arrives.
I hope you'll try out my levels!