Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Archive for July, 2009

I’m Back!

Posted by deckard47 on July 30, 2009

I don’t even know which movie to quote here (it says something about me that I always try to connect my clever post titles with movies I like). Never mind.

I’m back from my exciting non-blogging adventure, which I won’t talk about, except to say that San Fransisco is steep. Like super steep. I didn’t get much gaming done, and I’m blaming Steam. I’m actually contractually obliged (that is so deceptive, it makes what I do sound so classy) to review both the Secret of Monkey Island remake and the new Tales of Monkey Island game. I just finished the Tales game, but could not play the Secret game, because it turns out that when Steam asks you if you want to run Steam in “offline” mode, what they really mean is this: “Try to run our service sans internet, and you’ll be fucking rejected, and told that ‘that service is not available when not connected to the internet.'” Well shit, the “Offline” mode not being available offline is a bit weird, isn’t it Steam?

Regardless, I’m well on my way to completing Secret, which I’ll write about later. I’m also gearing up to start playing East India Company. Which means Ill be listening to Marcy Playground a lot, obviously.

Also, while I was gone, a lot of people visited my site. More than normal, actually. Excellent. Thank you. Amusingly, the posts most in demand were my Trine pseudo-review (good, go buy it!), and my mocking post directed at Miley Cyrus. Even better. I’m doing my job, I guess. I gotta go, lots of work to catch up on, but I’m sure I’ll be back soon. Adios.

Also, I’m writing and editing for a new site, if that is the sort of thing you might be interested in. It’s called Sleeper Hit, which (and this is a bit sad) I thought was some kind of almost deadly martial arts manoeuvre, until someone reminded me of what it really means. I do catch on to these kinds of things, eventually. Nothing by me up yet, but there are two articles you might want to read (especially if you’re an iPhone game review fiend, as Owen is. Weirdo), and there should be some authentic-smelling, unkempt Tom Cross writing posted soon. So soon.

Advertisements

Posted in Random | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Juarez Behind, Monkeys Ahead

Posted by deckard47 on July 17, 2009

So I finished Bound in Blood last night, and played a good bit of both of the new Monkey Island games (fun!).

Bound in Blood had a surprisingly sensible ending, both for a video game, and for Call of Juarez. Perhaps it’s because the sadistic Ray has a future as a priest in Call of Juarez, but the ending to BiB (I really shouldn’t write it that way) feels appropriately sad and apologetic (on Ray’s part), and appropriately bland and silly (on Thomas’ and Marisa’s part). There was a bit of Mummy silliness with a giant cave filling with sand, along with the game’s unconvincing Confederate villain, but all in all, the game made me want to continue Ray’s saga, to witness his continuing guilt. Too bad I’d have to play Call of Juarez (the original) again to see it! Maybe they’ll do another game starring Ray, one that takes the good stuff from Bound in Blood and chucks the bad stuff out? It could be pretty interesting.

Someone else recently posted about Bound in Blood as it relates to racism… And of course, some excellent coverage has been rolled out by some of our fellow game journalists. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Heed the Call… Or Not

Posted by deckard47 on July 16, 2009

I’m about to go into a bit of a blackout, working and blogging-wise ( and I bet you won’t be able to tell the difference!). For reals though, I will be back at full capacity(or perhaps, stronger than ever before) on the 22nd. I know, it’s a long time. Luckily for you, I bear greetings from the land of Juarez, to lessen the sting of this news. Hopefully I’ll soon bare tidings from the first new Monkey Island episode, but you’ll have to wait a bit for that.

So, Bound in Blood, then. I was amused by the relationship on display, that of the three McCall Brothers. We have Thomas, the “sensitive” (he kills slightly less people), “attractive” (is it the stache?), blue-jeans wearing brother. He’s so sensitive, he totally has sex with lots of women. Right.

Next is the youngest McCall, William. He is a priest, and thus gets some floppy emo hair, and spends all of his time complaining about how evil his brothers are, and how God really does love them (which is wrong, no god could love Thomas and his stache). Of course, his earnest, priestly demeanor is shaken when he is (no!) forced to kill a man, rocking his preconceptions, and his world. Yeah, it’s pretty contrived.

Next we have Ray, the eldest McCall. Ray is the “mean” one, the one who enjoys being mean and killing people (a bit) more than his brother does. Ray is constantly angry that Thomas keeps on “stealing his women.” I guess we’re supposed to be interested in this hilariously manufactured brotherly strife, but it just comes off as offensive and trite. Oh no, they’ve just met a totally hawt woman named Marisa (you could cut her totally authentic “Mexican” accent with a knife). They both want to have sex with her! But, she (in a horrible, painful cutscene) tells Thomas that she has “fallen in love with him.” I don’t know what to say. Was it the stache, the killing, or the jeans?

Unfortunately, not only does Ray want to have sex with Marisa, but both brothers must contend with her equally”ethnic” boyfriend, the pointedly dark-skinned “Juarez.” As is always the case, in games, his skin is quite dark, and his accent thick (it sounds likea B-side from a South Park), while her skin makes Sheva’s look dark by comparison. Also, I wanted to warn any of you who are suffering from sea-sickness or vertigo not to watch the cutscenes featuring Marisa. She (in her normal walking animation) swings her hips so much, you’re afraid she’ll injure her comrades.

And I haven’t even gotten to the representation of Native Americans ( everyone, regardless of background, refers to them as savages). Suffice it to say, if you want an inoffensive, progressive portrayal of Apaches, Navajo, and Cherokee people (the tribes that are lucky enough to be included in this game), you’re better off watching something more accurate and insightful, like the Indian in the Cupboard or The Last of the Mohicans. Which is depressing.

All of this, and I’m still playing, and I still like it better than Resident Evil 5. I’m not sure why this brand of cultural ignorance is less offensive to me, but it’s definitely less barf-inducing. Oh, and before we get off the topic, the game’s portrayal of Antebellum America (what there is), the Confederate and Union Armies, and slavery is particularly strange. The only mention of slaves occurs when Thomas and Ray return home, to find their farmlands burning. Thomas asks (when Ray says “farmer so-and-so is dead”) simply “Slaves?” Ray replies in the negative, and does so once more when Thomas repeats the query when they find slaughtered cattle.

The only other moment when we hear tell of slaves is when the diabolical Confederate Leader (dead set on hunting down the deserting McCalls after the war) states that with the treasure of Juarez, he can create a new south, and re-subjugate the “dark-skins,” or something. Really, it’s as if they wanted to point out that Bad Men like slavery. They just forgot to make a point of how your two PCs (player characters, here) Bad Men are quite sure that their missing slaves caused the damage to the farm, at first.

I understand that this is not a weird thing for two returning slave-owning murderers to surmise. It just surprises me that in 2 thousand and fucking 9, we still need these gruff, scarred Bad Men growling about their slaves, their money, and the sex they want. I get it, guys, cowboys are iconic. The fact that no one can think up of another kind of hero for this time period is beyond stupid. Think of all of the people who aren’t white slave-holders. Think of all of the people who you could play as, whose stories would be every bit as violent and unpleasant (because that is a constant, it seems). Right off the bat, a story about a Native American fighting against the “settling” of America seems pretty fucking resonant. The same could be said for any number of oppressed groups (like those slaves, and those free black people, who the McCalls are so slightly perturbed about). Of course, if you go there, then you have to think about what should and shouldn’t be a game (plus, you’d have to have an adult, a smart, knowledgeable, socially conscious adult, write your script. I don’t think that’s legal, in most video game companies). Although, if the video game industry is happy with depicting the American assault on Japanese islands in the Pacific, it doesn’t seem like they’d balk at portraying the violence and cruelty that were part and parcel of American slavery and American “settling.”

So how’s the game? Apparently it’s a lot like Call of Duty 4, although I found that game’s pacing and enemy waves to be artificial, merciless, and unpleasant. In Juarez, you never hit those stupid spawning enemy walls. The game is amazingly pretty. Say what you will about the story, the places they’ve created are beautiful in a “natural” feeling way that you hardly ever see in games. It doesn’t feel plastic and empty, falsely empty, like Bethesda’s offerings. It feels empty in a very real way (aside from the bad pop-in and long-distance textures). The gunplay is really quite fun, the corridor-like settings are never around long enough for you to recognize your lack of true mobility, and everything feels just right.

Surprisingly, out of all of the bad, hammy, accented voicework, the person who voices Ray comes out way ahead of everyone else. His character, while a dick, feels like a person who could actually exist, as opposed to William’s earnest, strident preacher, Marisa’s doe-eyed, only-as-ethnic-as-necessary beauty, Thomas’ generic “good guy,” or any of the other characters.

The multiplayer is also tons of fun. In various settings adapted from the game, you can engage in DM, team DM, objective-based play, and a few variations. It should feel pretty mediocre, but the trappings of the setting (and especially the faux old-timey firearms) combine to make everything quite entertaining. Even better, the game features  range of classes that can be leveled up over the course of a match, though the experience is not persistent over multiple matches. What is persistent is the experience you’ll earn toward unlocking new, more versatile classes. Unlike so many other MP offerings, this one is a lot of fun, and it definitely has legs (maybe not CoD 4 legs, but then again, what does?).

Call of Juarez is, much to my surprise, a pretty fun game. It’s more fun to play than almost all of the shooters I’ve had the pleasure of playing this year. It’s also, in keeping with almost all major releases these days, highly offensive and unthinking in its characterizations and storytelling decisions. It makes everything John Wayne ever did look only mildly offensive. It’s not horribly, purposefully racist, it’s just horribly, pseudo-knowingly ignorant and bigoted. Which is a shame, because I’d love to like it a whole lot more than I do. Chances are, I should look to another genre for my nuanced portrayal of America in the 19th century, especially with the absolutely adolescent Rockstar aiming its juvenile, “colorful” guns on the setting. At least with Call of Juarez, I’ll have something online to play once I’ve followed the main campaign to its bloody, doubtlessly family-shattering ending. If I’m extra unlucky, Rockstar’s game will give me side-quests where I can ride around hunting down dangerous savages who have made off with white women. And suddenly that sounds hideously possible. I should shut my mouth, in case Rockstar designers are listening.

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Clarity

Posted by deckard47 on July 11, 2009

I’m playing The Last Express right now (excellent!), but that’s neither here nor there. My recent plot/narrative articles have been cross-posted to Gamasutra, which is nice: I enjoy getting comments from different groups of readers. Unfortunately, the version of part 2 that has been posted at Gamasutra has been edited a bit, probably to better fit their page format. As it is, it’s much more confusing than it already was, which is unfortunate. I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from people looking for a more readable version of the document, along with people curious as to why I say a bunch of stuff in the article that seems baseless and/or random.

So, to explain. It’s the second of two articles. The first article sets forth a couple of arguments (or rather, one argument) put forward by some other people on the internet. It then begins to discuss those arguments and issues. The second article continues the argument, and ends with a promise to explore what I hope will be some kind of alternative/response to what I’ve been discussing. That’s why I refer to things as if I’ve already said them. Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2. The versions I’ve linked to are pretty clearly reproduced from their original forms, so I’d read them there, if you’re  so inclined.

More soon on The Last Express, although not too much, since a lot of it is going into the next in this series (and the last?). Hopefully something soon on Call of Juarez, which is inching it’s way toward my house.

Posted in Articles, Impressions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Impressions: The Trine Post

Posted by deckard47 on July 7, 2009

I know, I know, it took me a while, and I put up a fake, lying post yesterday that claimed it would be about Trine. Can I make it up to you?

Trine is a game from Frozenbyte, an independent Finnish game developer. Their games are even cooler than that last sentence. Their previous work came in the form of a Gauntlet-esque top-down action shooter set in space (very Aliens), called Shadowgrounds. It was fun, in an Alien Swarm kind of way (if you don’t know what that is, go buy UT 2004, download Alien Swarm, and then come back here). Good, I’m glad you did that. Shadowgrounds was a bit more polished than Swarm, although its multiplayer features were lacking (as were its writing and acting).

Trine comes completely out of left field, if you expected a similar title out of the company, that is. It’s a platformer, mostly, with a ton of other stuff melded into that basic premise. To list it all would be boring, so I’ll list some of it: a light RPG system, item collection, pretty interesting combat mechanics, and, of course, the physics and character switching. The game allows you to switch between three characters at will: a heavy knight, a light thief, and a wizard. The fighter can take on tough enemies, the thief can fire arrows and ninja rope all over the maps, and the wizard can create boxes, floating platforms, and bridges out of thin air.

Setting-wise, the game lands on the serious side of post-Tolkien light fantasy games. It’s self-aware, and quite happy to flaunt its knowledge of the genre’s tropes, but its tongue isn’t lodged firmly in its cheek, as is Fable II‘s. This actually quite nice. It allows the game (and its vaguely amused, mock-serious narrator) to introduce fantastic woodland cities, dark caves, and vile crypts with an endearing level of authenticity. You don’t get the sense that every setting and line of dialogue was approached from the “maximum irony” section of thought, and it feels proper and refreshingly unassuming, in a way. The narrator is the character you’ll hear the most, and he’s a comforting, completely cliched creature. Luckily, the acting (what there is) does just fine, banishing memories of the voices from the Shadowgrounds series.

While the graphics and setting are quite beautiful, the game is fun because of its willingness to mix physics puzzles, grappling acrobatics, and regular platforming. At first, you’ll just use the wizard’s magic boxes as stepping stones to out of reach places. Likewise, the thief’s grappling hook is just for lowering and raising oneself. Soon, you’ll master an almost Worms level of control over her swinging. You can grapple a far away platform, hang underneath it, and then skillfully swing, jump, and land atop the platform. Of course, if you wanted to, you could use the wizard’s new ability to create long boards, and build a structure from which to get to the same spot. Even better, you can mix the two, building outcrops from which the thief can throw herself, assured of victory.

The reason I don’t talk about the knight much is because I didn’t use him much. He’s necessary for a few puzzles, but once you upgrade the thief’s powerful bow (or learn the offensive capabilities of the wizard’s boxes), the knight becomes merely an afterthought. I’ve spent about 50% of the game as the thief (who really is a whole lot of fun to play), 30% as the mage (equally fun, although he can be a bit frustrating), and the rest (use your math skills!) as the knight. He’s annoying, combat isn’t that fun (with him), and he just feels a little boring. Why would you use him when you can stop giant cogs from grinding with conjured boxes, or destroy skeletons with carefully placed volleys of arrows?

Unfortunately, once you beat Trine, that’s it. The puzzles, combat, and RPG stuff are fun, but not so much you’ll want to go back and play it right away. Co-op (haven’t tried it) is a nice idea (it would be awesome to work in tandem as thief and wizard), but this game needs a sequel, fast. Its fun, beautiful, and it never annoys you or wears out its welcome. In fact, it’s the only game I’ve had a good deal of fun with recently, which is a rare thing. I’d recommend it highly, if just to keep Frozenbyte going, so they can make more cool games.

Posted in Impressions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Ghostbusters Wii Review

Posted by deckard47 on July 7, 2009

I know you’ve been waiting for it! Actually, I hope you haven’t been waiting that long, or that hard. Because the wait was not at all worth it. Follow this link to read me trying to be nice to Ghostbusters and failing miserably. A tasty morsel of the linked article lies below:

The rest of the game is perfectly passable. You’ll listen to the Ghostbusters trade banter and insults as they encounter their old nemeses, Gozor and Walter Peck. You’ll witness the rise of new, even more ghostly and deadly villains, and the ridiculous romantic antics of Venkman and  Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn. It’s all well and good when you aren’t playing, but even in the relatively well-written story scenes, there’s something missing. First off, there are lines of dialogue that were strangely cut from the Wii version. Watching the same cutscenes in the PC version reveals that the more expansive, graphically intensive cinematics on display house jokes, conversations, and bits of dialogue cut from the Wii version.

It’s too bad that these little snippets were cut, because they often leave certain jokes without the legs on which to stand, or throw plot developments at you with little warning or description. Furthermore, as in the PC version, the conversations are all oddly stilted. As opposed to cutscenes in games like Chronicles of Riddick or Dead Space, the characters all pause artificially between deliveries. It’s as if I’m playing Mass Effect, waiting for a human to choose Egon’s next line. Except I’m not, I’m playing a game with completely scripted cutscenes, and the characters sound flat and far-too-slow, especially when compared to the quick, uninhibited banter shown in the films.

I know, what you’re thinking (unless you’re thinking something else entirely, and are already angry that I’m lying to you about whatever that is). You’re thinking, “Tom, why don’t you ever like the games you review. Even the ones you think you’ll like?” The answer: I haven’t reviewed Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood yet. When that shit hits the Cross estates, all bets are off. Get ready.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wizards, Thieves, Pirates, and, of course, Eureka!

Posted by deckard47 on July 6, 2009

I’ve been attempting to blog recently, but The Gaming (and, thankfully, The Writing) keep on getting in the way. No longer! I’ve ben playing a whole lot of stuff (I’ve even managed to finish some games), and, as the final bit in the post title denotes, eagerly awaiting the re-emergence of Eureka upon our world. I’m not sure if you know, but Nathan Stark is (oh shit, spoiler, sorry) gone for good, banished to the land of True Blood (sweet!), and Ketel One vodka adds. We’ll try to forget about that last bit, it makes me sad. But (omg) this half of the season will focus on relationships! I’m so excited. I should probably have a post label that warns you all away from the posts that have nothing to do with gaming, and are just me getting excited about my favorite, awesome, clueless-white-guy-comedy-sci-fi-show.

Luckily for you, there are games, in my house, that I’ve been playing. What games, you might ask? Thanks to the villainous Steam, I now have the 2K complete pack. This means I just this weekend downloaded both Freedom Force titles, Sid Meier’s Pirates!, and, surprisingly, Prey (along with all of the X-com games… weird). I’ve been playing a lot fo the first two, and a bit of Prey as well. I don’t have much to say about the first two, other than this: they are both really fun, amazing games, with Pirates! being one of those “stay up til 3am” kinds of games. Good times.

Now, Prey. A very pretty game, I’m happy to say. Really, I’m surprised at how much I like these late-id Tech 4 engines. Riddick and Prey have now both done a lot to wipe my mind of those horrid Doom 3 days. It does things Doom 3 wishes it could have done, geometry and level design-wise (it also includes much more inventive colored lighting… I knew thisday would come). Obviously, it’s helped by the addition of portals to the mix, which add a very disorienting, surprise monster attack, otherworldly sense to things. I really liked it when a box tipped over, and a portal on one side of the box disgorged an angry bloody alien dog. So far, guns, enemies, and combat are all slightly above average. It’s not memorable, but it’s not bad at all. The main character (“Tommy,” or, as Wikipedia informs me, Domasi Tawodi), is Cherokee. The opening scene takes place in a bar, with him, his grandpa, his girlfriend Jen, and some white thugs hanging around making Pochahontas jokes. Oh, and I guess he’s a former US army officer? That makes things interesting…

In al honesty, it looks like once Tommy gets up onto the Evil Alien Sphere of Doom, things are going to stop being interesting and mostly become straight-up, Duke Nukem/Doom 3-style combat and “exploration.” Apparently Tommy’s ancestors (lead by his grandfather?) meet him regularly in the spirit world and give him powers. Not sure how it’s going to be handled, so I’ve no idea how far along the “not actually that caricatured” to “super-racist” scale it gets. My guess is, it can’t be that bad, otherwise somebody would have called it out back when the game was released (although I didn’t pay much attention to 360/fancy PC games news then, so who knows…). So far, it’s interesting to see a Native American hero (and all of the other characters, for that matter), one who isn’t a noble savage in a Western.

And then there’s this from Michael Greyeyes, the Plains Cree man who played Tommy: “The writers [at 3D Realms] were always open to my comments — which I freely offered — and took my notes seriously, in nearly all instances changing dialogue or thematic content.”

Oh, and Human Head, the people who made Prey, also made Rune, my all-time favorite 3rd person action Viking game. No really, I liked it when it came out, and spenta large portion (for a teenager) of my money on it. It looks lke the work on the planned sequel (Prey was a big hit for a new IP, I guess, selling at least 1 million units) might be done with, since Human Head was working in conjunction with, yes, 3D Realms. This would sadden me. Prey may be all about space mutants and weird goo guns, but it’s about those things in a refreshingly solid way. It’s the same feeling I get when I fire up an old UT engine game and see that inescapable, wonderful UI, with those shiny windows and resolutions options. It’s definitely worth the $3 dollars  I spent on it, that’s for sure. Plus my grenades are little crawling bug-aliens. Who doesn’t like that?

Oh, and the titular Wizards and Thieves of this post are from Trine. Which I will write about in another post. It is a lot of fun though. In case you were wondering. Stupid Prey distracted me. Never again!

Posted in Impressions, Random | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Plotting, Emergent Narratives, and ‘Story Spaces,’ Part 2

Posted by deckard47 on July 2, 2009

Yes, the exciting second installment of my Game Set Watch Plot-centric series is now ready to be read. If the idea of a person (another person) talking about Plot in games sounds boring, you should leave. And go read it! To whet your appetite but not (to mix up expressions) slake your thirst, here is a bit from the article:

Narrative can’t help but have an internally coherent organizational logic (called “plot”). The important things about this logic are that it a) unfolds in time for a reader, that is, has a beginning, middle, and end, b) that the experience of reading is one of reading—of discovery and deciphering rather than production and self-creation, and c), that because of this, narratives appear for readers as pre-existing objects, things separate from a reader that demand to be seen and interpreted.

This last point is critical: narratives happen to readers, and speak of an intelligent, exterior design to readers. This is true even when we tell stories to ourselves (the principle on which psychoanalysis works)—we encounter a structure of meaning, or plot, outside ourselves, and re-narrate it to ourselves.

Narrative always comes first, and unless we’re very clear about what we mean by “story spaces” or “tools for making narrative,” it’s unclear how we might provide readers with tools, rather than pre-existing narratives, out of which they themselves will produce narratives, ex nihilo.

Narrative is, to borrow an academic jargon, always there already. It’s naïve to imagine for the sake of polemic that video games, just because they’re new media, are exempt from these rules about narrative, which are something like rules for human psychology. As Peter Brooks argues, we’re just wired this way. We see narratives everywhere, and when we as authors (or, yes, video game designers) produce meaningful artifacts, whatever we call them, we can’t help but encode meaning in them that a reader is going to decipher.

Sexy, right? Almost as sexy as le Jake. So go check it out over at GSW, and leave a comment, so I can shakily respond. It’ll be fun, or something.

Posted in Articles | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Interview: Runic Games and Torchlight

Posted by deckard47 on July 2, 2009

So I recently did an interview with the people making the awesome looking (and playing, I went to their booth a lot at E3) action-RPG. Here’s a bit from the interview, you can hit up the link at the bottom to see the whole thing at Gametopius.

TC: Runic’s development team has some impressive credentials: you have people who worked on Diablo and people who worked at Flagship Studios on Mythos. You have a lot of experience with action-RPGs. What do you all bring with you from those various backgrounds that really makes Torchlight something interesting and different?

The entire Runic team was developing Mythos, and our leads created Fate and Diablo, so we are really lucky to have that background and be able to apply that expertise towards Torchlight. The more we play and work on games, the more features stand out to us that we love – like any fan, it’s easy to pinpoint exactly what makes a game really fun to play – interesting lore, satisfying combat, great loot, charming mini-games. Our history has really streamlined what we would list as ‘the best of the best’ when it comes to RPG,’s so that’s what we’re doing with Torchlight – making the game that we ourselves would buy and play!

TC: In the same vein, what was your goal in making Torchlight? What were you shooting for when you started out?

Probably one of the biggest goals in making Torchlight was to start fresh and do it right. Mythos was made using the Hellgate London engine, which was always a challenge just because the games were so different. This time, we get to make the game we want, from scratch. That means writing our own tools, designing brand new characters with art styles we all really enjoy, drawing on everything that we love and find addictive about RPG’s to make one kickass game.

Check out the whole thing right here.

In case you weren’t sure what exactly Torchlight is (you read my blog, right?), here’s some sweet screens, and a link to the amazingly in-depth fansite.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

News: A Moment for the Aliens, Please

Posted by deckard47 on July 1, 2009

So the Aliens RPG that Obsidian was making is dead. For real. By way of Kotaku, here’s a bit of art from the game. You can see more over at Kotaku (sorry!).

Big Alien

Big Alien

Now, I guess I’m among the few (according to the disparaging writer at Kotaku) who thinks that this could have been a good thing. I mean, even when Obsidian makes a game using someone else’s IP, they make their brand of RPG. Regardless of the trappings of Ripley’s world, I’m sure it would have been an interesting game (although the opportunities for conversations with enemies would have been reduced somewhat, right?). I guess a big, heavy alien like the one up there is a unpleasant for “purists?” I mean, I guess? I’m not sure what’s wrong with supposing that there are different kinds of aliens, all of the different kinds of extended fiction (yes, I’ve read all of the weird, not-great books out there) have done this kind of thing, from movies to books to games. How is the Predalien (who I hate, because I hate the Predators) cool well this isn’t?

Anyway, Obsidian is close to releasing Alpha Protocol, which I am expecting to be something. Sexist? Yes. Good? Possibly. Will I play it? Probably. I guess I just want them to finally get that game that lets them kick ass, because I’m not sure if it’s AP (although think that it is, so that’s something to think about?). I guess we’re in for a bit of a drought now, as summer sets in and people stop releasing things. Although, to be honest, I’m quite happy, still working my way through Dark Athena (I like it, I’ll admit), and awaiting the arrival of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. It’s funny, but I think Bound in Blood is the first title I’ve been asked to review that I both think will be entertaining and that I really want to play. I mean, I know that the 15th Peggle game will be fun, but it’s not something I think about liking in a strong way, more in a mild kind of way. Of course, Bound in Blood may be awful, plenty of “greatgames are unpleasant to play and experience, so I guess I should temper my expectations.

Oh, and Kotaku named inFamous one of its best games of the first half of 2009. Bwahahaha. From the 2 hours I’ve played, Dark Athena is already miles ahead of it, in every department. Depressing.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »