You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Opinion’ category.

So far at QuakeCon we have had the opportunity to play an almost limitless supply of games, and what does my group decide. We played Warcraft tower defense till 4am, I was greatly disappointed with my friends as I walked back to my car to get some shut-eye. That’s right my fair readers, your intrepid blogger had his plans to sleep in a nice bed dashed by a friend who decided not to show.

So the rundown goes:

10:30pm-arrive at quake-con

Midnight- gain entrance to the BYOC (bring your own computer)

1:30am- finish setting up my stuff.

4am- leave to go to sleep

8:30am- alarm fails to go off…

12:30pm- wake up

1pm-go to the Brink show…

So I arrive at the brink show feeling a little groggy and in need of a shower, but the guys at Splash Damage managed to wake me up with an impressive display of their game. I love the class based structure of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and brink uses that general structure and throws in customization elements to make you feel like your character is an individual fighting a guerrilla war in the future. The mission objective system looked dynamic pulling you from place to place by enticing you to help your team. While it was a pre-alpha build many parts looked polished. The only thing I want to see more of is the Mirror’s Edge style free-running button that allows you to traverse obstacles with ease, if the level design works with this feature it could be the first time that the nimble infiltrator class actually gets to be nimble.

Keep posted as we continue to muse about whatever the hell it is we are doing here at quake-con, I’m going to find a real place to sleep for the night.

Advertisements

Hello from Quakecon. I hope all of you are ready for HARDCORE BLOGGING!!!!! (guitar wail).

Thats right, your friends at the Other Castle are here live at the Gaylord hotel in Dallas Texas ready to soak up all the super-LAN goodness. We just got set up and yours truly just finished with a very successful round of Team Fortress 2, and while a wait for a few files to finish downloading I’m going to run into a Left 4 Dead game.

Keep up with us for any col updates we can think of and random musings about the biggest LAN from the biggest contiguous state (Alaska shouldn’t count anyway).

Not like there aren’t enough reasons as is: Plants Vs. Zombies is a PopCap title wherein you defend your lawn from cartoon zombies with a bevy of particularly aggressive plant life.  The game is massively fun and beyond charming with a cute sense of humor.  We’re talking pole vaulting zombies, crazy neighbors, zombie dolphins, adorable kitty-faced waterside cat-tails, and even “zomboni” drivers.

The comedy doesn’t seem to stop there, though.

See, it’s not unusual to see terrible ads for browser games on gaming sites.  Usually, of course, they’re along the lines of vague features that may (possibly!) be something resembling elements of a game.  PVP!  Space Combat!  Panda Breeding!  Well, whatever.  These guys have nothing on Evony‘s advertising might:

So is it about strategy or heavy petting?  I'm confused.

So is it about strategy or heavy petting? I'm confused.

This is not Photoshopped, people.  This is on the internet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alright, 2D fighting games?  Pretty cool.  They’re also seeing something of a comeback recently, with Street Fighter IV actually doing some pretty good numbers, and lots of folks being psyched for BlazBlue and King of Fighters XII.  But it’s seemed to me for a while that fighting games as a whole have been…well, not aging so well as a genre.

Sure, the visuals keep getting pumped, the soundtracks keep getting grander, and now we can fight people anywhere on the globe at the drop of a hat, but what about the rest of the game?  What about the gameplay, the accessibility of it, and how we learn it?  What about story, our favorite characters, and synergizing all that with the actual game we’re playing?

Of course, it seems the guiding mantra of developers when it comes to the core of fighting games is largely “If it ain’t broke,” and that’s worked well enough up until now.  And while this is a logical thing to think, and hardly a bad attitude to have with game design, the fact remains that it could be done a lot better.  In its current state, most core fighting gameplay is catered to one demographic; fighting game fans.  Which is, again, a business strategy that surely “ain’t broke”, but why should developers settle there?

Read the rest of this entry »

Information on SquareEnix’s next big MMORPG is scarce: even after looking forward to the big reveal for years, the most fans ended up with post-E3 was a cinematic trailer and some generalized interview answers.

Love it or loathe it, this means one thing and one thing alone for the fan community at large:

Loads and loads of speculation.

We already know Final Fantasy XIV has races returning from XI, and it’s fair to assume those won’t be the only similarities; the development team behind the new game is the same one from XI, and even in the brief trailer we have in our hands it’s clear things are already looking rather similar.  To this effect, discussions on what will and won’t be returning are seemingly highly relevant.

Of Manthras and Girlkas

One of the hot topics burning up message boards is on playable races new and old.  The old, in particular, being Mithra and Galka in this case:  It’s already been revealed that races from Final Fantasy XI will be returning, just for familiarity’s sake, but there’s some rumbling from players that these races should be due for a change.

The reason being that in Final Fantasy XI these races were gender limited: the path of the graceful cat was reserved for women, and the way of the bulky, bull-like Galka was solely for the men in the crowd.  While this provided personality for the game, many players also felt like they’d been robbed of choices.  Where were the man-cats?  Where were the strong women?

Read the rest of this entry »

Continuing on with the E3 round up, we find our way to Nintendo, who, despite putting up record numbers in console and game sales, came into E3 with something to prove. Accused with having a drought of quality games for the Wii, Nintendo has long had a history of tension with the 20-something gamers who say that they are “too old” for their games, but now even their loyal fans might have found their Wii unused for a few months this past year. Nintendo needed to prove that they still knew how to make the games that made them big, which was the focus of their show.

Read the rest of this entry »

One of the things I was most looking forward to at E3 was SquareEnix’s new MMO baby (as seen in a previous post about wishes that now, in retrospect, leaves me crying into my ice cream).  They dropped the initial bombshell at Sony’s press conference, and it looked … okay, but it reminded me an awful lot of an existing game.

The trailer was mostly pre-rendered bits with a sprinkle of in-game footage, and though it looked awfully good, it can’t be denied it seemed awfully familiar.  One of my largest preexisting fears was that the game, sharing a large amount of it’s development team with Final Fantasy XI, would be too similar to Square’s original MMORPG.  Unfortunately, the only news to come out of E3 about the game after that was a lackluster Q&A session and an interview on IGN that only added one or two new pieces to the puzzle.

So far we know that the game takes place in a brand new world, with similar races to FFXI to keep fans of that game comfortable.  Here’s hoping there’s new choices, as well.  The game will have a larger focus on pleasing a large variety of players, whether you prefer to solo, party, play for 30 minutes, or play all day.  There will be a number of “new systems” in place to make the game more accessible, and the job system will supposedly work very differently, to boot.  IGN’s interview also revealed that weapons will play a much larger part in the game, and that advancement will not be handled via experience.

What I’m keeping my fingers crossed for is that at least a few things on my beautiful wishlist for the game will be addressed:

Read the rest of this entry »

The week is ending, and we gamers are in our post-E3 phase, which of course requires that we all rate the three console-makers on their various line-ups. The practice has often been decried as pointless; that there is no way to provide empirical evidence that one company had a better press conference, and that our opinions are quite simply that: opinion. However, if you are here reading this, you must be looking for what (I hope) you believe to be an educated opinion, so here we go.

I’ll talk about the conferences in reverse order cause I’m feeling cheeky, which starts us with Sony. Sony had the best conference of the show; it was paced well, had lots of information, showed lots of games (including exclusives), and seemed to act somewhat naturally the whole time. First off, the pacing was great; every announcement was quick, concise, and well put. I never felt like anyone onstage droned on about any particular subject, which made the information presented seem that much more exciting. Sony’s info was spot on too, they showed us games we wanted to see. Almost all of the games they talked about had game footage too, which is much nicer than a few pictures or a short video. I was going crazy seeing Uncharted 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, and God of War 3 all in action. ModNation Racers looks great for the kart racing gamer (which I am).  The exclusives really sold me: so many games were only appearing on their systems. I don’t like it when I’m told how great a year a console is going to have when all that’s shown is multi-platform releases. I also loved their motion controller demo; I want to see some full games for it, but it looks like it will support a wide variety of games. There are still questions to be answered, but the gameplay that was on display shows much promise.  Sony showed why you should buy their systems and not the competition’s, and in the end that’s what they want to do.

It wasn’t all good in Sony-land though: they did have some snafus. The main one in my mind was the PSP Go. Sony seemed so obsessed with saying that the old PSP would still be a viable platform, and that it was going to be getting most of the same bonuses that the PSP Go will. I don’t get what the big advantage is going to be to getting this new $250 system (that price is also going to hurt sales in my mind).  I’m interested in a full digital distribution system, but the PSP Go doesn’t seem to have that much more than just a new way to buy  games.

All in all, I thought the Sony conference was far superior to the other two console-makers, but both Nintendo and Microsoft did things that were right and wrong in their conferences.  However I do need to eat,  so check back later for thoughts about Nintendo’s trials and triumphs.

Ding ding ding!  The curtains have now gone done on all three major console developer conferences.  Did you get your fill of motion controllers?  This article is rife with links to videos of games, so if you’re catching up, hopefully this’ll make it a little easier, too!

First up: Nintendo

Nintendo was ready to go, showing off new games from the get-go and keeping the sales talk low.  The first out was New Super Mario Bros. Wii with Little Big Planet-style 4-player coop, not revolutionary but it certainly looked like a lot of fun.  There was talk of number of already acknowledged but nonetheless cool games, including WarioWare DIY (as in Do It Yourself), Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (effectively Mario & Luigi RPG 3), and Kingdom Hearts 358/3 Days.  It’s also apparent that they’ve put more time in Wii Sports Resort, and it really shows.  While the game did look fun last year, this year’s showing really dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, with a polished intro sequence and what seemed like a more approachable and fun game overall.  There was also an appreciable little remark from the presenter during the archery demo about the skill and challenge behind the activity.  You’ve got to appreciate the guy trying to tell traditionally core gamers “Hey, you can enjoy this too!”

Of course, the bigger announcements from the conference were Super Mario Galaxy 2, which might not be a wholly new game but certainly looks like more of what we already love, and the big shocker: a Team Ninja/Nintendo co-developed handling of a big Nintendo IP in the form of Metroid: Other M.  You ask me?  The trailer looks fantastic, aside from the slightly frightening doll-people in the cutscenes (What’s with Japanese developers and these creepy mannequin people!?).  The action seems frenetic, and there’s something truly fan-servicey about seeing Samus doing bitchin’ ninja moves one after another.

Read the rest of this entry »

For the unaware, Microsoft’s 2009 E3 conference ended not half an hour ago.  Major announcements included more sequels, such as: Left 4 Dead 2, Crackdown 2, and a new Halo…thing called Halo: Reach.  Of course, the show-stealer was a confirmation of Microsoft’s working with the “zcam” technology in the form of “Project Natal.”

Basically a camera that can read full body movements and also read on the Z-axis (meaning it detects movements in 3D space,) it was shown being used for a full-body Breakout-style game, and a painting program.  Most curious was a tech-demo video from Lionhead Studios, featuring a Seaman-like idea wherein the demonstrator interacted with a virtual boy by talking and showing him…stuff.

It looks really interesting, to be honest.  It’s obviously a more complex device, but the comparisons with the Playstation EyeToy and the Wii are inevitable.  My own thoughts, hopes, and grievances?

Read the rest of this entry »

About

The Other Castle is a blog by video games, for video games. Wait, let me try that again. The Other Castle is a blog by a few nerd friends, about video games. As long as we're entertaining ourselves, there's a good chance somewhere out there, you might be getting a little kick out of reading this, too!

Categories

Archives

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031