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Christian. (That means that I know that Jesus is Lord!) Programmer. Gamer. Weak 3D artist. Geek.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Videogame design - where's it going?

It's 22:00 on Friday night - Laura is sleeping on my sofa - we've been watching Heroes and listening to acoustic music.

But now that she's asleep and I want to play some videogames, what are the options?

I mean, for an evening like this - Halo 3 or Final Fantasy XII just won't cut it.

I've finished Ico and Shadow of the Colossus - so don't even try giving me them as options - because whilst I agree they're beautiful and artistic games - that doesn't mean that that art fits all situations.

For example, if I turned off Counting Crows and slammed on some Metallica or Tool - right now, that just wouldn't do - it would kinda kill the mood..

So what game fits? Do videogames really have a wide enough spectrum of emotional response in comparison to other media?

A movie like Lost in Translation might fit this moment but I really can't think of a videogame that would be able to cut it..

Much thinking to do on this topic I feel.

Please, post suggestions in the comments section..

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Rolling into bed..

It's 3am on Thursday morning. I've just got into bed.

This is the first time I've seen my bed since Tuesday morning.

I've not left the office before 12am since I got there on Sunday afternoon.

But tonight.. tonight..

I played my part in completing the beta submission of the latest game I'm working on. (Ssh! It's a secret!)

I might not sound it - but I'm overjoyed.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

I really need to stop buying games..

This is the list of games I currently have on my 'waiting to be played' list:

Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Final Fantasy Tactics (PSP)
Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (360)
Bioshock (360)
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (360)
Final Fantasy III (DS)
Final Fantasy I (PSP)
Etrian Odyssey (DS)
Luminous Arc (DS)
Riviera (PSP)
Blue Dragon (360)
Pokemon Pearl (DS)

There are a *lot* of long games on that list. Some *long* RPG games.

Oblivion and Blue Dragon make me want to cry thinking about how long those games are going to be - but at the same time jump for joy!

I've kinda written off the idea of ever finishing Final Fantasy X based on the fact that it's so awful. (Another post another day perhaps?)

Seriously though, I'm kinda feeling a little bit pressurred to finish all these games - what have I done to myself?!

Halo 2 : The greatest disappointment in games

Last night I finally finished 'Halo 2'.

I know, I know - anyone who plays games is right now thinking 'How old is this post?! Halo 3 is out and he still hasn't finished Halo 2?? You're kidding me right??'.

No. I'm not kidding.

I am a huge Halo fan. Let me be clearer - I am a huge Halo 1 fan.

I love the story, the world in which the game is set.
I love the characters, the plot and the sprawling gameplay which frankly beats Gears of War into submission.

But let me say this: Upon completion of Halo 2 last night I can state that it truely is an abomination.

I know already that Halo 3 is a far superior game (I started the Campaign last night) but I have a bitter taste in my mouth that the Halo trilogy is so hidiously marred by the second installment.

'What's wrong with it? Why do you despise it so?' I hear the fans cry..

The music? Excellent in places - Marty O'Donnell is a genius of smooth, soft emotional music but lacks all tact and sense of urgency during the action scenes.

During the later levels my friend Mike who I forced to play through with me kept asking 'Is this Enya?'.

The story? Downright fabulous and sprawling but unfortunately rushed because of the structure of the game. Story telling wasn't aided by a poor voice/music volume balance - it was very hard to understand what Tartarus (one of the lead bad guys) was saying..

Gameplay? Halo 1 shoved in a corridor. Not enough great set pieces and too much opportunity to just run through without killing any of the adversaries.

To be honest though - I wanted to play as John, Spartan 117, the Master Chief. Not as some alien guy, 'The Arbiter'. I didn't buy Halo 2 because I thought it would be an awesome game in it's own right - meaning I bought it because I loved Halo 1 and expected more of the same - and I was seriously disappointed.

I'll write up a more lengthy review if demand warrants it - there are some aspects of the game that are welcome additions to the franchise (like the Battle Rifle, oh my goodness, what a gun..) but as a summary: Halo 1 was ground breaking and deserved it's high acclaim and huge praise. Halo 2 was like playing Quake 2 with nicer graphics and some bells and whistles - and I didn't even like Quake 2. How about that to stir up some anger, eh?