Silly Black Friday shoppers. Don’t you know you can find just as good if not better deals on the inter-tubes for all of your crazy holiday consumerism needs? I suppose not, because then they wouldn’t be at this Wal-Mart fighting over a pile of XBox 360’s with Guitar Hero bundles that aren’t really all that special. The best part is the dude laughing.
Last week it was Disney’s Haunted Mansion, this week it’s a map for Counter-Strike 1.6 made entirely out of crazy textures featuring Van Gogh paintings. Heck, even the skybox is an awesome shot of Starry Night, and it is just gorgeous to look at. I’d suggest you do so.
So Left 4 Dead is out and I’ve been playing the junk out of it. What I can’t deal with about the game (in a good way) is just how epic everything is when you’re playing with a group of friends, battling zombies in campaign or becoming them in versus mode. I’ve played the game for hours already with no signs of letting up anytime soon.
As you know, if you’ve played the game, the thing that’s just awesome is that each playthrough is different, resulting in wildly imaginative tales after your harrowing escapes. I thought it would be a good time to recount some of ours.
Ah, Thanksgiving. When we eat and stuff our faces like we might never taste food again. It’s the time of year where we get to play extra video games, and where we long for Christmas to get the last few that we haven’t bought. In light of this holiday, I thought I’d leave you guys a short feature before departing on my great Turkey adventure tomorrow.
In honor of these great birds on which we feast upon, I wanted to discuss gaming’s biggest turkeys. What do I mean by turkeys? Basically, anything that flopped or completely fell under your expectations. Anything that you devoted your time to that turned out extremely disappointing. That game that broke your heart and that you wanted to be good, but sadly, it just sat there like a lame duck. Er, turkey.
Time for another epic trailer for Prince of Persia before I start eating lots of turkey until something in my stomach blows or fails. Every step of the way, I’ve been terribly impressed by this game’s artful care, which ranges from the design to the graphics and even the story, as shown here. I really can’t wait. This is out next Tuesday, December 2, by the way.
Anybody picking it up?
Since we’re on the subject of Zelda, it only seemed appropriate to post this LittleBigPlanet map, which features recreated gameplay from the first Legend of Zelda game on the NES. Pretty incredible. I mean, sure, it’s slow and isn’t quite the same, but I’m impressed yet again by the seemingly limitless possibilities in this engine. The thing is, we’ve probably barely even scratched the surface.
Funny fact about the original Legend of Zelda: I could never play it because the dungeons always scared me when I was a kid.
Ah, the good old Legend of Zelda series. How Nintendo needs you. How long will you keep getting shoveled out?
The man behind the Zelda franchise for the past few years, Eiji Aonuma, said in an interview recently that he won’t stop making Zelda games until he has made one that surpasses Ocarina of Time. Seeing as how that game is declared “OmG B3ST EvAR” from fans and gaming sites alike, that’s probably not a bad thing. Though one might think that if he hasn’t done it yet, will he able to do it now?
Here’s the quote:
I’m happy that a title I worked on some time ago remains highly praised to this day, but that also shows how none of the subsequent games in the series have surpassed it. As someone who is still working on the series, I have mixed feelings about that. Because I haven’t yet surpassed it, I can’t quit. Surprisingly, that simply motivation may be the reason I continue to work on the Zelda series.
More passionate developers=better games for us. Keep at it, good sir! What do you guys think about the Zelda franchise? Going in the right direction, or staying stagnant?
Wow. Who needs Little Big Planet when you’ve got Counter-Strike: Source? Here, someone has literally created the whole Haunted Mansion ride and ported it into the game. Knowing a little bit about map building myself in Hammer for Counter-Strike: Source, I have no idea how this guy pulled off some of the stuff he did here. And planting the bomb in it is just mean.
The platformer is a dying breed in today’s game world that is filled with shooters, gore, exploding aliens and musical game clones. We don’t always get the same kind of games that we used to get, and sometimes I really miss this genre, because it’s so often overlooked by the big gaming studios. Because of that, it’s kind of interesting that we’re getting a few great platformers this holiday season.
As kind of the early staple of gaming, it shouldn’t be any surprise that these games are still fun. There’s something so delightfully simple about pushing one button and seeing a response on the screen. Where most games have gotten needlessly complicated, platformers are pure gaming enjoyment.
Games like LittleBigPlanet, Prince of Persia and even Mirrors Edge can hopefully shine the spotlight on the fun of platforming in video games. Who knows, maybe they can rekindle the fire. What do you guys think? What are some of your favorite platformers of all time?
Go, go, go!
Here’s an example of what you can do with the new GTA IV PC video editor, out in the wild. This video is good for a quick chuckle, and I’m liking some of the camera moves you can do as well. Can’t wait to see what it’s capable of, first person. Guess we’ll be seeing lots of machinima from the GTA IV community, perhaps. Anyone else plan on getting this for the PC?
For as long as I can remember, there has always been a debate raging about PC versus console shooters, and which are better. I remember leaving the world of PC shooters for some time because of games like Goldeneye, etc, before being dragged back in by Counter-Strike and convinced that no other shooter on the console could come close. But then I go back and play a Halo and realize that sometimes simpler is better. Sometimes.
In a new interview, John Carmack of Id, creators of Doom, says that PC shooters are still the best in the business, as the PC is much more suited to the genre. He says that the mouse and keyboard set up is the “superior interface” for shooters, and that browser based gaming can be the future of the business, as Id is working on Quake Live to be played straight from your browser. He’s got some interesting things to say, so I’d recommend checking it out.
I know we’ve got a lot of PC gamers here, so I dare to ask: what about you guys? What are your favorite PC shooters, and why are they so much better than console shooters?
We all have secrets. There are whole websites devoted to people just telling their secrets and Conan O’Brien has a segment where celebrities can reveal their darkest truths. In this post, Anthony has uncovered some of the most iconic video game character confessions you have never heard!
Ok, time for something that is actually made by devoted fans. Unlike Bike Hero, this Mega Man trailer was put together by fans of the film, and directed by Eddie Lebron. While the acting and writing is mega cheese, the special effects look fun and the production values are solid. What do you guys think? Could an actual Hollywood Mega Man movie pay off?
As of now, I’ve finished Saint’s Row 2, Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead from the holiday pile of games. On the deck still are things like Chrono Trigger DS, Fallout 3, Penny Arcade episode 2, Portal “Still Alive”, Call of Duty World at War, Fable II, Little Big Planet and Mirrors Edge.
What all have you guys played so far, and how would you rate those experiences? Did they live up to the hype? Did they fall short? And what are you still waiting for, that you’re expecting to get for Christmas? Me, I’m dying to get my hands on Prince of Persia, and all 3 of the games I’ve finished went above and beyond what I expected from them, so I’m extremely pleased.
What about you? What have you finished? What have you started?
A couple of weeks ago, when I was still debating about whether or not I should get Left 4 Dead on the XBox 360 or the PC, a friend of mine told me that the custom content for the PC would ultimately make it the choice that you would want long-term. He insisted that it would just be a few short weeks before someone created the Dawn of the Dead mall. Well, he was right.
Over at L4DMods, a user has posted that a replica of the Crossroads Mall from Dawn of the Dead is already nearing completion, having been made for a previous HL2 mod. The screenshots look fantastic, and there’s even a video walkthrough. Check it out:
Ok, this is hopefully the last time I ever post about Bike Hero again, but that’s probably because this is maybe more epic than the actual video. In it is a response from a Guitar Hero player towards the viral marketing campaign, showing them bitches how to do it right. He does this while playing “Through the Fire and the Flames” on Expert… while riding a bike. From the video’s description:
No closed roads, no CGI, no planted cars or joggers, no hidden cuts in camera moves. Just Dragonforce, a pair of wheels, and cojones the size of grapefruits.
Trust me. It’s totally worth it.
One of the most important aspects of any visual medium, be it films, games, graphic novels, machinima, etc- is story. While many people put an emphasis on the kinds of images and effects they can put into their production, it’s ultimately story that leaves a resonating impact on the viewer/participant.
While gaming has come a long way in recent years, I still find this to be one of the more lacking areas in the industry. Game makers just don’t seem interested in telling great stories. Sure, they’re interested in gameplay, physics, art, mechanics, coding and so forth, and if they can slide a decent story into that framework, then great. But it always seems to be an afterthought.
After reading a great article from Gabe Newell about Left 4 Dead’s design and the idea of using “procedural narrative” that simulates a story that is unique to each player, rather than a traditional scripted narrative that unfolds before the player’s eyes, some of my suspicions were confirmed. Namely, that Valve might be the best storytellers in gaming today.
Well, it’s nice to know that they’ve got a game that works, rather than all of the screenshots we’ve been seeing. The new Batman Arkham Asylum trailer doesn’t really show off any gameplay, or any people, really, but it does have lots of atmosphere, the music from the Dark Knight, and even a great creepy Joker laugh from Mr. Hamill himself. Good times.
In today’s gaming culture and in the age of Metacritic, this isn’t all that surprising, but it seems that Eidos is asking that anyone who gives the new Tomb Raider a score under an 8 has to delay their reviews. Basically, they’re trying to boost the game’s Metacritic score in order to persuade buyers.
While I understand it in the business sense, it’s kind of shady seeing as how Eidos was part of the whole Gerstmann-gate/Gamespot scandal all those many months ago. It’s not entirely too shocking that video game companies have this kind of hold over the reviewers that they advertise with, but it really is just another sign that gaming editorials these days are jacked.
It especially makes me miss Dan Hsu, former editor-in-chief at EGM, who always took the ballsiest stance possible against these kinds of shenanigans. What do you guys think of Eidos’ policy on game reviews- fair or foul?
Prince of Persia, why must you appear so tasty? Something I didn’t know about this game is that instead of being linear, it takes place in an open world. Definitely a different take on the series, and one that might add even more interesting twists to the Price of Persia franchise.
Also, if you’ve played Uncharted, the dude that plays Nate is the Prince. So that rules.