May 29th, 2010
You didn’t think I would pan this out into two articles, did you? Well, I did, so deal with it. ^_^ No seriously, I’ve said some semi-nifty things on Twitter, eh? Give me some cred. You subscribed yet? No?! Herm, maybe we can pad this out into 3 articles…
Can’t think of anything to write about Wipeout Fury for the blog. It definetly sports a madder, more aggressive vibe.
2:15 PM Aug 28th, 2009 via web
Eliminator mode= awesome, detonator = entrancing, Zone Battle= kinda lame, awesome package, piles of content
2:22 PM Aug 28th, 2009 via web
I reckon I probably will enjoy Metroid Prime 2 more than MP1&3. MP2 brings the tough bosses and nails the macabre, alt design
10:33 PM Sep 10th, 2009 via web
Will try to substantiate into an article soon.
Quadraxis was certainly a highlight, loved the multi-tiered design and ingenuity of the spider and boostball techniques. Killer music too.
10:44 PM Sep 10th, 2009 via web
There’s something very 1997 which I’ve always admired about the Turok (N64) boxart http://tinyurl.com/mrz8ue
6:07 PM Sep 12th, 2009 via web
Battle of the Bionosaurs, that’s such an awesome name. I’d really like to suss out the 2D Turok games.
11:04 AM Sep 13th, 2009 via web
Momiji (Ninja Gaiden) and Shigure (Ninja Scroll Animated series) have a more than strong design and personality resemblance
6:47 PM Oct 14th, 2009 via web
Band Hero gets “Paralyzer” (Finger Eleven), oh, that sucks >_<
9:33 AM Oct 16th, 2009 via web
Three of my favourite songs (If You Could Only See, Impression That I Get, Paralyzer) are in that game, god.
Why is Rock Band so full of shitey Southern American rock? I’d kill for some Powderfinger, Silverchair, Thirsty Merc or anything Australian
11:33 AM Oct 22nd, 2009 via web
So pleased I have no affiliation with the alt. gamer/Asian-wannabe crowd at UniSA…sure I’m partial, but those people make me wanna barf.
9:40 PM Nov 3rd, 2009 via web
I try to avoid mentioning games much in my social life (unless it’s of mutual interest) and keep things pretty segregated between here and there. I dunno, most of the gamer people I’ve met in my life tend to conform to sad stereotypes and can’t seem to separate their hobby from social etiquette.
Perhaps I’m too purist and objective to be a rabid enthusiast of childish things
9:43 PM Nov 3rd, 2009 via web
Surprising discussion on the Good Game presenter switch @ Mediawatch forums: http://bit.ly/sRNWW
9:48 PM Nov 9th, 2009 via web
Good Game is an Australia TV show about games. One of the shows long-time presenters was suddenly axed without warning. The threads here are interesting.
Might buy myself Rune Factory 2 for Christmas. I’ve avoided a decades worth of bad Harvest Moon iterations, and RF looks like the exception
2:04 PM Nov 17th, 2009 via web
BTW, fans of said, bad Harvest Moon iterations deserve our pity. Damn, anti-purists.
2:08 PM Nov 17th, 2009 via web
I’m uber purist when it comes to the Harvest Moon franchise. The original is the only “true” game in the series, IMO. The spin off Rune Factory, on the other hand, seems slick. I will hopefully get to write about it this year.
Kinda funny that Aus. gets the original US CrossworDS and the recent EU release and rebranding, they’re pretty much identical.
11:41 PM Dec 22nd, 2009 via web
When the identity of a nation state is challenged by mass migration it seeks to consolidate itself by promotion of nationalistic values
10:21 PM Jan 26th via web
The next few tweets are just criticising nationalistic tendencies. I dislike belief structures (religion, cults, nationalist, patriotism, enthusiast followings).
Of course, attempting to define the traits and values that apply to an entire population fails, but we aggressively fail anyways.
10:27 PM Jan 26th via web
It’s for this reason that we have a better understanding of what isn’t Australian rather than what is
10:28 PM Jan 26th via web
Because the reality is that ‘Australian’ is a marker, an excuse to separate them from us.
10:36 PM Jan 26th via web
It’s also a trigger to connote that “what we do is normal and civilised…whereas what they, the other do is not”. Symbols of patriotism, even though we don’t truly understand them, make us feel secure in our belonging to a membership group.
BTW, did I mention that we’re all friendly bunch of larrikins who are great at sport and eat lamb? Aren’t you?
10:39 PM Jan 26th via web
And, yes, it doesn’t always make sense.
Endless Ocean 2, Excitebike: World Rally, No More Heroes 2 and Tatsunoko vs Capcom – all seem like interesting games for the Wii
11:33 PM Jan 28th via web
It’s a pity that Nintendo fans/industry alike will continue to decry the Wii for the obvious lack of quality software/3rd party support
11:36 PM Jan 28th via web
I’m sure if they all had guns and were set in first person/over the shoulder people would care…somewhat
11:38 PM Jan 28th via web
…But even then it wouldn’t be enough.
To unsubscribe to Adobe’s mailing list you an A) Click a link B) Post a letter titled UNSUBSCRIBE to their marketing dept. in Chatswood, NSW
11:06 PM Feb 23rd via web
Great Sunday editorial on Eurogamer about the 3rd party situation on Wii: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/third-party-puzzle-article
9:08 PM Mar 1st via web
Basically good games with strong marketing sell, Nintendo’s presence seems to be an excuse to pass blame for under performing in these areas
9:10 PM Mar 1st via web
Even Nintendo have weak sellers like Battalion Wars 2, Walk with me, Excitebots, Chibi Robo and Custom Robo – same reasons.
9:32 PM Mar 1st via web
Wonders why Nintendo didn’t/won’t extend their ‘New Play Control’ branding to 3rd parties, including Okami, RE0, Remake and 4, Rygar, etc
9:10 AM Mar 6th via web
It’s kinda sad how Capcom sexualised Jill Valentine with RE3’s boobtube/miniskirt combo and RE5’s catsuit, she was just fine before.
about 1 hours ago via web
In RE; Umbrella Chronicles her original body figure is dressed in her RE3 get up which is quite interesting
about 1 hours ago via web
They also made her more slender which doesn’t fit with her RE1 body image
about 1 hours ago via web
Valve are so going to announce HL: Ep3 at E3 and I am so going to look for ways to shit bricks on them.
about 1 hours ago via web
Yes, I’m still sour on the Half-life series. Half-life 2‘s legacy was mostly overrated (it’s just gimmicks!!) and, as I tweet later, the cast are trying too hard to be ordinary. I also look forward to making fun of Alyx falling in love with a soulless avatar.
May 26th, 2010
My Twitter feed, you might not know, is intended to support this website with minor updates and short comments. I like the idea of websites which become portals of information through the collective support of a range of publishing mediums, and for me Twitter is one of those mediums. I don’t tweet about my life (unless I’m overseas)—there’s enough of that digital litter on the web already—I tweet about games as an extension to the website. Generally speaking, I put as much effort into those 140 characters as I would any good 140 characters here. I’ve been in the tweeting game for maybe 2 years now, so I figure that compiling a list of my most insightful tweets is probably a good way to fill two articles and come off as a self-promoting prick. No, seriously, there’s some cool stuff here, I’ve added some context to certain tweets too, and some of them are irrelevant to games, but still amusing.
The flat-out stupidity of these gaming publications is really starting to become offensive http://tinyurl.com/6jke83
11:15 AM Aug 9th, 2008 via web
Doubts that any gamers would listen to the Mirror’s Edge theme if it had no affiliation with the game. Any nay-saysers please stand up?
11:50 PM Nov 26th, 2008 via web
You can find a link to the music video here.
Tell me what’s suspicious about this website: http://www.kemsynth.com/default.aspx (clue: read the bottom of the home page)
8:12 PM Feb 11th, 2009 via web
Answer: It’s a front for Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror.
Final Fantasy II on FF Origins, playing on the PS3, has frozen up for the 3rd/4th time. This time in an unskippable cutscene.
9:50 PM Mar 19th, 2009 via web
I haven’t returned to Final Fantasy II yet, my PS2 modchip (imported games only) won’t let me load PSone games and the PS3 freezes at fixed points in the narrative. I have read elsewhere that other people have experience similar issues with PSone compatibility on the PS3, but little has been reported on it.
Zuma is a mean SOB, Bookworm is so much nicer, Lex likes to eat cabbage. ^_^
5:15 PM Mar 20th, 2009 via web
I cave, you win Zuma level 12, I’ve spent days of the past month trying to beat you, and all you do is humiliate me. I want a divorce.
6:54 PM Mar 22nd, 2009 via web
I have never been so addicted to a game before quite like Zuma. Just recently I started playing Diner Dash Lite on my iPod and felt the urge coming back. Someday I will try to write an article exploring the addiction and whether it is ethically positive or not.
Interesting the Asian trademarks: http://www.popcap.com/trademarks.php
12:12 AM Mar 29th, 2009 via web
“Compatible with the (DUAL SHOCK) Controller…the most explosive vibration functions the universe has ever seen!” http://tinyurl.com/dewq3p
5:39 PM Apr 6th, 2009 via web
Hehe, this is pretty amusing marketing for Final Fantasy VIII.
Haven’t tweeted in a few days, finished some essays, owned n00bs at healthy selection of N64 games – the usual DP pwnery.
12:37 AM Apr 12th, 2009 via web
I had a meet up with some old friends in which we competed in a race to 10 wins in Mario Kart 64 (battle, blockfort). I was at 9 wins, 6 up from the other 3 players until gang mentality stepped in and the other 3 had caught up, giving us all a level score. In the decider I stopped letting them win and came out the victor. Truly excellent, I am. Anyhow, multiplayer Mario Kart 64 with Gamecube pads via the Virtual Console is just awesome, so smooth.
Wow, just realized the Rune Factory series is developed by Neverland, the Lufia folk. Awesome.
1:05 AM Apr 19th, 2009 via web
Oh and that the PAL DS release is 1.5yrs behind the states. Wow, nothing changes in 12 years.
1:10 AM Apr 19th, 2009 via web
Rune Factory 2 hasn’t even been released out here yet!
Wow, never knew the GBA SP was first released in China. Crazy.
3:06 PM Apr 22nd, 2009 via web
Ellie Gibson has such a charming writing style, no wonder she’s recieved such accolades for her work, I like this; http://tinyurl.com/dzet6j
12:56 AM Apr 23rd, 2009 via web
Why can’t you just be a obedient bitch and centre-align pictures when I ask WordPress!
12:26 AM Apr 29th, 2009 via web
Thanks again for ruining my morning WordPress, pleasure’s all mine.
11:27 AM May 3rd, 2009 via web
These tweets represent my frustration with WordPress (the backend I use for the blog), it never seems to centre align an image without re-aligning the whole article. Images also tend to insert themselves after the last edit on the page and not where I specify. As a result I’m sometimes forced to crawl through the code, it’s also why I try to keep the length of all my images at 560px so that I can avoid aligning.
Jason Hill from The Age’s Screenplay blog took questions today from readers, I got one in too; http://tinyurl.com/c8uq8j
4:50 PM May 1st, 2009 via web
Got time on a Sunday afternoon? Why not make yourself sound more cultured, French phrases used in English; http://tinyurl.com/jzdzg
1:10 PM May 3rd, 2009 via web
Oh, “finished” Halflife as well..had to forfeit game due to glitch, sums up the whole experience really
2:58 PM May 29th, 2009 via web
This is where the bitterness really started.
Still reeling from this morning’s Metroid fangasm.
2:08 PM Jun 3rd, 2009 via web
This tweet is in reference to the initial Metroid: Other M trailer. I get uber emotional round E3 time, it’s infinitely more exciting than Christmas and the Other M trailer completely zapped my fanboy senses.
I like the concept of Milo too, except the kid seems like he just walked out of rehab
2:13 PM Jun 3rd, 2009 via web
I said this because I was surprised that nobody commented on how depressed the poor kid is.
Been reading Kotaku a bit for E3, spelling, grammar and factual errors in one out of every two articles. Pretty atrocious.
2:21 PM Jun 3rd, 2009 via web
I kind of unfairly criticise Kotaku and similar blogs. They’re fantastic at breaking news and not too shabby with investigation too, yet their kitchen sink approach turns me off big time. This comment, however, was true, sure it’s a peak period, but it’s clear that no one had read over the articles more than once.
APB looks rubbish, only way to become famous in a city is to either steal, murder or drive cars really fast. Diverse I know.
5:12 PM Jun 4th, 2009 via web
The future of video games right there. Who the hell is interested in these games?
Turned up the brightness on my TV to play emo-rific PoP:Warrior Within – gonna make me fall in love with Linkin Park music, I swear
1:07 AM Jun 12th, 2009 via web
I really did have to turn up my brightness it was that dark.
Going to play ‘Spot the Gimmicky Game Mechanic’ in Half-life ep1, hope it’s not as dull as Half-life 2
11:16 AM Jun 22nd, 2009 via web
Hehe, it’s so true though. As much as I love going against the grain, my comments on Half-life aren’t attention-seeking. I need to articulate my argument a little better, but the evidence is all in my posts.
Should be noted that Kirby’s Dreamland 3 recieved it’s first PAL release on Virtual Console yesterday.
10:55 AM Jul 25th, 2009 via web
PS3 (Slim) PAL-NTSC price discrepancy is still a massive injustice of $AUD150 – seriously, you announce the drop in Europe, what an insult!
12:29 AM Aug 26th, 2009 via web
The PS3’s success in Europe cannot be overstated, particularly when it’s at such a premium price. I’m always surprised to hear American’s complain over game pricing, they are such cry babbies. Take any NTSC product and add 30% of the price, now THAT is an injustice.
May 19th, 2010
(This is the second part of my editorial. Please refer to the first for reference.)
Onto the Contrast
The point I’m ultimately trying to get to (alas the argument is mangled at this point) is that many games are trying to shift to onus of quality away from design fundamentals and onto other more peripheral things. Examples are numerous, prime suspects being presentation, narrative, authenticity, freedom of expression and the like. Here are some random examples off the top of my head:
- The “game” part is rather minimal with the importance placed instead on atmosphere and story. It doesn’t matter so much that the puzzles are weak and often require more running from A to B than, say, problem solving, so long as the other elements are strong.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
- As I will get to in a future post, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (I’ve actually wrote these articles a few months ago here) rips its source material straight from its contemporaries yet has many marks of ill-thought-out design. Landscapes aren’t very readable (this impedes platforming frequently), the level design don’t quite facilitate shoot outs as well as it could (the spacing of the landscape often works to de-equip players), etc. Yet we’re willing to overlook these issues at the heart of the experience in favour for Nate’s charisma and the impeccable visual and cinematic package.
Guitar Hero/Rock Band/Other
- One of these games may be superior/inferior to the other (read: Guitar Hero is a complete train wreck, kill it!), however the genre’s most important feature, the track list, is a separate entity to the overall game design. To put it crudely again: it doesn’t matter so much if Guitar Hero has washy visuals and incomprehensible on-screen cues, so long as it has my favourite songs it will still be of greater preference.
Generic EA Sports game A
- For the audience of sports games obviously “fun” is crucial to the experience, but authenticity is also of prime importance.
My point: core mechanics aren’t always the heart of the experience or, rather, we often place greater value in things which aren’t the core mechanics. From a purist’s point of view that’s rather unfortunate.
It’s also problematic too, I’d wager. It’s problematic because the gatekeepers of game specific information (ie. reviewers) rarely identify this difference in their reviews. With the same curiosity I had for Borderlands, I read reviews on Dragon Age: Origins, hoping the writers would distinguish what makes this story-driven title a fun game and not so much a fun choose-your-own fantasy novel. So far I still know very little about what actually happens in Dragon Age besides the fact that it’s based off the rules of Dungeons and Dragons and Baldur’s Gate, both of which I know nothing about—oh and you can engage in virtual sex too; this point was unnecessarily and frequently flaunted. With reviewers failing to elaborate on the strength of the primary game design, how is it possible for readers to easily distinguish between a game which is naturally, by way of good game design, a great game to a game whose assets lie elsewhere?
It’s this element of game discussion which has largely gone out of flavour. Ask any game reviewer/blogger to properly explain why New Super Mario Bros. is enjoyable for both core and casual players alike and besides positively noting good game and level design (which is surely an obvious fact considering?), I doubt most would come up with a reasonable explanation. It’s too difficult to talk design and mechanics because that requires too much brainwork and analysis: things that these folks don’t have the time for. It’s much easier to separate things that usually aren’t game-related (non-interactive narrative, graphical fidelity, track list, realism, raw PR stats) and talk about those instead, or even speak entirely on a surface level with unfounded generalisations (yah, the Mario games have great level design, it’s just Miyamoto and Nintendo and all that; it’s what they do…). Because we can’t explain it, the audience cannot quite appreciate it and we neglect it. This, I would continue to argue, is part of the reason behind the lack of good discussion and fair representation of games like Super Mario Galaxy and New Super Mario Bros as opposed to Mass Effect or Uncharted. People just don’t know how to talk about well designed games with any insight, whereas replicating renaissance Italy is easy to discuss because it has little to do with the medium itself.
For this reason, well designed games are losing ground to games that excel in other areas less related to the medium itself. I don’t make this assertion because renaissance Italy, Eternal Darkness‘ atmosphere or the fact that my favourite song of all time is only on Band Hero are detriments—because they’re not—they’re fantastic qualities, but shouldn’t our eyes first be judging the game followed by the window dressing, not the other way around?