Monday, July 14, 2008

Out of the XBox

Resident Evil 5
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  • video2
  • I'm not at all impressed with RE5 so far.
  • Looks like RE4 with a different main character.
  • The destructible environments look like graphical embellishments.
  • The co-op play looks stiff and forced.
Face Breaker
  • 360/PS3 version
  • Wii version
  • Oh really? What makes old school gaming so great if you don't mind me asking? Because form the looks of things, Face Breaker (Wii) looks pretty shallow.
  • Designing a game where players will get hit no matter how skilled one is or how inexperienced their opponent is, is a big mistake. From the looks of things, Face Breaker isn't a good game. I don't know why a developer would spend so much time trying offset the advantage a pro has over a new comer. Sakurai made this mistake and now all the Brawl players are suffering. Developing games is hard enough without fighting battles you should be involved in.
  • The 360/PS3 version looks much better than the Wii version gameplay wise. Two different teams are working on these games, and the Wii teams looks like they're far behind the 360/PS3 team.
Far Cry 2
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  • Flushing enemies out from places, and shooting them while they're going through any type of non aggressive animation has been done many times before. It's not deception as much as simply shooting enemies when they come into range. It's nothing special.
  • No matter how you mask exploding barrels, they're still exploding barrels. In this case the ammo pick ups and the propane tank are two new examples of things we've already seen many times before.
  • Putting bombs on things and detonating isn't as satisfying when the game practically tells you to do it. Perfect Dark, a first-person shooter on the N64, feature dynamic objectives and remote mine explosion opportunities. Far Cry 2 isn't as even as good as Perfect Dark. Nothing new here.
  • The enemy animation looks very questionable. With the upgrade to more realistic graphics, the enemies look like they're still a few gens behind.
Gears of War 2
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  • This game looks very impressive. Sequels are always at risk of being too similar to their predecessors, or adding things that diminish the game. RE5 is suffering from both of these pit falls. Fortunately, Gears looks like it's doing things right.
  • According to Cliff Bleszinski, the multiplayer options and balance have gone under considerable tweaking based on how the meta game of Gears of War's multiplayer developed. Paying attention to the community is always a good thing. But making the best design decisions is always best.
  • Aside from the new party based matchmaking options and adjusting the net-code to reduce the extreme host advantage when playing online, the cover system is being refined even further than the original gears.
  • The graphics and sound will all be there I assume. But the thing that has me most excited for this game is the interplay that's being added. Remember Gears of War's interplay?
  • Now players can pick up downed opponents and use them as shields. Downed players can also mash the A button to crawl away to a safer/hidden area hopefully unnoticed. Hopefully there are ways for you to break out of an enemy's grasp when they're using you as a shield. Once again, RE5 showed some of these same scenarios. In RE5 case, the animation and gameplay looks a lot less polished.
  • In addition to the interplay with downed players, bullets now have stopping power meaning, you can slow down your opponent by shooting them. Depending on how this mechanic is incorporated, the gunplay in Gears can be expanded. If leg shots are the inverse of head shots (trading off damage vs. stopping power), when coupled with the new cover system, a rich new level of play may be opened.
  • Gears of War already featured the familiar guns and then some. But the new weapons in Gears2 seem to be designed to work well with the new options that I've just described. One gun, as Cliffy B. described, is great when fired while holding an enemy as a shield and makes a great addition to game because of the unique space it fills within the range of the game's gun variation. With a game like Gears, with new abilities and properties should come new weapons that accentuate them.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
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  • I wanted to just say "yuck" and be done with this game, but that wouldn't be very "critical" of me. Ignoring the premise/conceit of the game, I'll say this...
  • The animations look stiff.
  • Why is Superman bleeding when he gets hit?
  • I thought the DC characters couldn't be subjected to fatalities because of some kind of agreement with DC. I wonder what happened to that.
  • It's not very nice to say that a certain game series is dead. Still, from the looks of things, this game doesn't help Mortal Combat.
Tom Clancy's EndWar
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  • This video was simply confusing.
  • RTS is a genre that has become quite complex and at times unnecessarily so. And this video proves that point.
  • I can't understand the mechanics of this game, so all I can say is there is a lot of attention put into little details in the graphics.
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  • The graphics and the style are definitely cluttered. Between all the dark tones and shadows, I can hardly see what's going on in the video. Throw on top of that the explosion effects and the physics based sharpnel and the focus of the game becomes highly unstable.
  • Manipulating the terrain creates some interesting potential for interplay. ie.using hills to create walls/cover on the fly can be countered by using borrowing missiles. In this case, the interplay is gunplay because the terrain changing ammo is shot out of the player's gun.
  • According to the developers, Fracture sounds like it's designed with simple/open rules that allow for unique emergent strategies.
  • From how the terrain changing mechanic looks, the game seems to be moving a bit to fast almost as if it's trying to mimic the gameplay of another shooter while adding terrain effects on top as a bonus. Hopeful these developers can focus on what's most unique about their game and let everything else (controls to game speed to graphics) support the core.
More Critical-Hits to come.

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