Archive for category miscellaneous
Recently I’ve been browsing YouTube for some examples of JRPG combat mechanics. This little search led me to a low-level, initial equipment playthrough of Final Fantasy IV (Advance). It was a pretty interesting watch, and it reminded me of just how much varied content exists on the site. Sure, you have your usual gameplay footage, corporate trailers and fan reviews, but there’s a lot more beyond that.
Good Old Games has posted a couple editorials dealing with the original two Fallout games. The articles include feedback from Tim Cain, Brian Fargo, Chris Taylor and various other Black Isle ex-pats. A lot of the information contained within has been made public in the past, but here are a few interesting tid-bits:
- A lot of storyline elements were purposefully left vague so as to not contradict the wide variety of player actions.
- One of the amusing bugs that popped up involved a man-launching bazooka.
- Tim Cain attributed Fallout’s distinct style to a variety of contradictory concepts — “Funny but dark, nostalgic but futuristic, optimistic but depressing.”
- The companions/party members, included the beloved Dogmeat, were a last-minute addition.
- Ron Perlman apparently hated Fallout 2′s ending.
Elsewhere, Edge has a two part interview with Chris Avellone, one of the lead men behind Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale. It’s an interesting read, especially the parts referencing Interplay’s downfall.
It’s actually all too believable that Baldur’s Gate 3 was cancelled due to some incompetent accounting that allowed the license to expire. This kind of shit seems to happen way more often than one would imagine.
And on a slightly unrelated note, I have to say that the GoG service has really grown on me. Relatively cheap prices, no DRM (the games don’t even “phone home,” so you can play them without an internet connection), PDF manuals, wallpapers, soundtracks, brand new strategy guides and support for mods. And there’s plenty of games choose from as well — Die by the Sword, Gorky 17, Lionheart and Disciples II might not have been perfect, but they all had their fair share of significant bits.
A subset of this phenomenon seems to be Japan’s jovial fascination with homosexuality (at least when contrasted against pop-culture trends in the West). More specifically, it appears to be a general kind of giddy amusement brought on by extreme and often exagerrated imagary of gay men.
Now you should take that statement with a grain of salt. I am not Japanese, nor have I ever lived in or visited the country. This is just a loose perception stemming from internet sources, second and third hand opinions, and videogame exhibits such as these:
While some of the above games were quite niche, others, like “Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland” (actual title), were published by family friendly companies and became mainstream hits. The response to these games wasn’t an outrage or a rallying call, or even apathy. Instead, it seemed like something else entirely: a collective giggle.
Now on the surface that doesn’t seem so bad. These ridiculously over-the-top portrayals can be amusing, but when they all follow the same pattern, they also risk becoming misrepresented as the status quo. And in this case, isn’t the majority of gay-related subject matter distilled into a cheery “Oh, you silly, adorable people!” pat on the head?
Considering Japan’s somewhat schizophrenic history with homosexuality, this strikes me as particularly odd. Anyone care to enlighten me on the root and cause(s) of this trend?
Spearheaded by Jordan Mechner (of Prince of Persia fame), The Last Express was a critically acclaimed adventure game that bombed at retail. Many blamed this on sparse — or non-existant — marketing, but I don’t think the lack of ads was the sole reason for the game’s poor sales.
TLE was a time-piece aboard the Orient Express just before the onset of World War 1. It was filled with political strife, conflicting philosophies, and lots of foreign languages. It also had its fair share of stilted animations, static environments, occasionally disorienting camera angles, and the ever-dreaded time-limit. In short, it wasn’t exactly a mainstream-friendly title.
Despite the rough edges, though, it really deserved its accolades.
Although I haven’t written much about fighting games, I’m a big fan of the genre. In fact, I’ve spent more time playing Street Fighter II (Special Championship Edition, to be exact) than any other video game. And, at least back in the day, I was pretty damn good at it.
The only “tournament” I ever entered was a small event at a local Blockbuster celebrating SFII coming to the Genesis. I won, and it only made me more obsessed about the game.
When HD Remix came out, I was a bit rusty and I had to put up with the Xbox 360′s horrible d-pad, but I quickly got the “Playing To Win” achievement for winning 100 ranked matches. My experience with the online competition was a bit surprising, though, as, generally speaking, it wasn’t that good. I’m not claiming to be the greatest SSFIIT: HD Remix player either — in all my matches, there were a couple of people I played that were genuinely better than me — but overall it was a little easier getting that achievement than I expected.
So, in the spirit of good competition, here are a couple of tips for the intermediate players out there: