Archive for March, 2009
Color me disappointed. I was all ready to title this demo review “Sad but True: The Guitar Hero: Metallica demo is out,” thinking I’d cleverly turned a Metallica song title into a jab against the band’s very own game. But after playing through the handful of included songs, I’m writing this article with an unexpected humility. It’s definitely not for everyone, but Neversoft is slowly (and finally!) starting to breathe new life into a franchise that’s quickly beginning to show its age. (more…)
A primer: I never played the first Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, and I know as much about the Warhammer universe, 40K or otherwise, as I do nuclear fission. Therefore, it’s probably impossible for me to be any more objective about Relic Entertainment’s sequel to its beloved original. And actually, I’m quite glad about that.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (DoW2) is a fast-paced action-RPG with vestigial strategy parts. Players and fans of the first Dawn of War may expect the common real-time strategy themes of resource management, base-building and upgrade trees, but DoW2 throws most of that rubbish out of the spaceship vacuum tube in favor of an in-your-face approach to the genre. In other words, you might think Dawn of War II’s all that and really loves your “traditional” gameplay, but he’s just not that into you…r RTS desires.
Awful reference aside, because Relic ditches ancestral RTS clichés the game lives up to it’s back-of-the-box claim of being the “next generation” of the strategy genre. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to the individual, but for my two cents, DoW2 has taken the best parts of strategy titles and bolted them to an action-RPG chassis. (more…)
There’s just no place for a street fighting man.
Well, that may have been true in 1968, but anyone who’s old enough to remember the Clinton era remembers Street Fighter II. Its unprecedented console game sales numbers, the lines of wannabe world warriors amassing at the local arcade machine, the combos, chains and cancels — they put Capcom on the map and gave birth to a brilliant new game genre, but the phenomenon faded with time. An obscure series of sequels and offshoots largely served to refine the game’s brilliant core mechanics, but did so at the cost of accessibility.
Fortunately, that ends with Street Fighter IV. The game’s back with the entire original cast of fighters from Super Street Fighter II Turbo (minus T. Hawk and Dee Jay, but nobody misses them) along with some fresh and inspired new faces. It’s endlessly replayable, packed to the brim with style and tempered with disciplined balance — a hallmark of the series and the result of months of in-depth public testing with the arcade version. But if you’re like me, you can barely remember how to throw a Hadoken or block Sagat’s knee attack. That’s where this guide comes in! I’ve taken my thirty hours’ experience of getting my ass handed to me by tweens named xXDeathstrykeXx and yourgonnalose (sic) on Xbox Live and coupled it with the best advice I’ve found for learning the ropes in Street Fighter in the hopes that new players can get the hang of a game whose only real flaw is the lack of a beginner’s mode. So dust off your gloves, dry-clean your most fashionable gi and get ready to throw hands with the best of ‘em. (more…)
I wish I could explain to you what in the world Noby Noby Boy is. But frankly, I think it’s one of those rare, anomalous bits of software that asks the player to re-define his or her own concept of a game.
The YouTube video posted at the beginning of this entry is something I put together. Utilizing the game’s built-in (and brilliant) video function, I was able to record a few minutes of gameplay footage. BOY stretches and twists, shrinks and expands, consumes the world around him and flies through the air. I could have recorded more, and maybe generated a few random environments for BOY to explore, but it wouldn’t add much to the discussion. With Noby Noby Boy, what you see is what you get — even if it doesn’t make a lick of sense. (more…)