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  1.  (10738.1)
    I recently finished the first episode of The Walking Dead, and I intend to do the second episode tomorrow. No spoilers, y'all! I'm enjoying this :)
  2.  (10738.2)
    Finished God Hand today.

    Probably one of my favorite games of all time. It was so difficult while still being doable and so over the top and just perfect.

    Never could destroy one of those cars though.
  3.  (10738.3)
    This past month I've been playing:

    New Super Mario Bros 2 - same old Mario, same old fun. It's a pretty Mario, but I didn't find it difficult or innovative.

    Skyward Sword - booted it up after a 6 month month respite, finally got past the desert and started to enjoy the game once again.

    AssCreed 2 - I tried to get into the first one, and it was fun for like 20 minutes...and because of that I ignored the sequels. AC3 got me interested, so I Gamefly'd AC2 and it was pretty enjoyable. I hear the two follow ups are even better.

    Borderlands goes free for PS+ members tonight, and since my PC is dead I'm going to download it.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2012 edited
    Finally decided it's time to play the stack of Wii RPGs I bought before the next round of 360 games I want appears.

    Started off with 'The Last Story' from Mistwalker. Unlike Mistwalkers previous two RPGs (Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey) which were both *very* traditional JRPG fare, this has a strong realtime combat, almost action game, feel to it. Reminds me a lot of FF12 mechanically as well.

    First thing is having to get past the lower resolution visuals though. I game primarily on 360 in 1080p, so dropping down to 480p is pretty noticeable. It's a good looking game once you mentally adjust though.

    It's doing everything right so far. The backstory is being fed in slowly and naturally through the dialogue (no need to read a pile of log entries to be able to understand it, unlike say, FF13), the combat is interesting, and for me the best part is that the characters actually have *character*. They're not just 'mage chick', 'sword guy' etc...

    I think it partly helps that they've done their RPG localisation here in the UK, so the entire cast appears to be British (or at least really good at British accents). And I don't mean just 'posh English' either, there's a whole mix from all over the isles going on here.

    I'm told this is quite short by RPG standards, but I don't really mind that. I prefer an experience that holds it's quality level the whole way through to one that dips as it tries to stretch things out too far.
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2012
    Everyone playing the Walking Dead game, please remember to copy your saves. It's notoriously buggy and I've lost three episodes worth of progress because of it.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2012
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2012
    Edgar and I got tired of waiting for Torchlight 2 to be released, so we broke and got Diablo 3 so we can co-op. We're almost done playing through it in normal mode, already planning and going again at hard with different classes. I'm playing a witch doctor this round, I love it.
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2012
    I went to PAX over the weekend. It was pretty amazing.
    I had never been to a convention of any kind before. There were far too many people, but the grander and spectacle allowed me to look past it. Everyone was really happy to be there and there didn't seem to be the usual annoying things people do to each other in large groups. I was also there with a group of really good friends, who were a joy to be with.
    My favorite part had to be the indie game area. I threw my money at a bunch of them and would have spent more if I'd had it. My friends and I are really excited about MinionMaster, an interesting take on computer card games. I played briefly last night and am looking forward to playing with them soon. I was kind of infatuated with Sifteo, but the price tag was too high for me to pull the trigger.

    I also got to meet the esteemed Morac, who was a swell guy. It was my very first Whitechapel meet-up! It was the last day and everyone was wrecked. We had a brief, but pleasant conversation, then went our separate ways to die a little bit. The poor guy caught the PAX Plague aka Con Crud aka SmallPAX too. Hope he's feeling better soon. I've, so far, managed to avoid it. I have a decent immune system and was hitting the vitamin C pretty hard in hopes it would help.
    Chia and Morac
    We took several pics with my phone but they were all blurry. I suspect Morac of having too much awesome that interferes with photographic equipment. We took a pic with his phone too, so he might have a better copy.
  4.  (10738.9)
    Just bought Counterstrike: Global Offensive on XBLA and must say that I'm thoroughly impressed with it. The "ain't broke, don't fix" mentally has worked out well, so a big thumbs up to Valve, methinks. Nice to play a military shooter that rewards skill and actual experience, total playing time played... CoD and BF3, I'm looking at you.
  5.  (10738.10)
    I've been playing a game called Mercury today. It's an odd dungeon crawling-turn-based game in which people with high scores get to determine enemies and items you pick up. It's weird and random, and curiously addictive.

  6.  (10738.11)
    I just got an e-mail saying that Proteus updated to v0.02. If you've got the game, there's new goodies. If you don't have the game and are looking for a lovely walk through the lo-fi digital woods, I really can't say enough good things about it.
  7.  (10738.12)
    the new PLANTS v ZOMBIES pinball FX table is pretty solid. i think it might be more fun than the recent marvel ones. not BETTER, just more fun and less technical.
  8.  (10738.13)
    Aaaaaugh Walking Dead episode 3. This is rapidly turning into both the best thing that's done with Walking Dead outside of comics, and the best thing Telltale's done (though I haven't played the later Sam&Max episodes).

    Buggy, though. First one guy stood up in the middle of a conversation, so his guitar protruded from his leg since he was supposed to be playing it. Then when I exited one conversation on a train, the camera decided it wanted to be about ten-twenty meters under the tracks and slowly rotating. Would've actually made for a neat screensaver, seeing all that cardboard scenery float by above.

    But yes. This really FEELS like Walking Dead. God, some of the decisions you have to make, and some of the sucker-punches that are thrown your way. Without spoiling anything, there's one person in particular in the group that I would not trust within an inch of my life (in fact, said individual has proven themself untrustworthy in life-or-death situations), and I suspect this individual did something really awful. But at the same time I sympathize with said person, and we're kinda stuck with'em anyway. So grahhhh.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2012
    Last week I finally got a chance to play Journey. It's a very difficult experience to put into words, that of course being the whole point of the entirely non-verbal narrative there. That said, it's one of the more actually meaningful gaming experiences I've ever had, and the way the gameplay ties into it is just brilliant.

    Absolutely flawless.

    (Yeah, it got to me, too.)
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2012
    Part of the reason why Journey really works is its basis in the Hero's Journey. I haven't actually played it, but it (and other things made by thatgamecompany) are tempting me to pick me up a PS3. Extra Credits has a great pair of episodes on Journey, which I highly recommend.
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2012
    Yeah, there is that sort of Universal Story going on in that one, and this is possibly the best use of it in games so far. This isn't the first time the Hero's Journey has been used in games, but I think this is the first time it's been employed in its mystical context.
    • CommentAuthorGordon
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2012
    Recently finished Darksiders 2. It's a fun mix of dungeon exploring and God of War-ish combat. 20+ hours of game time too.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeSep 11th 2012
    Something I've been annoyed with for a little while now, was wondering if it's just me being a curmudgeon or not...

    The games industry is changing, I can accept that, it always has and always will. But one current trend that I hear more and more about is one I'm really not keen on.

    I'm talking about 'Games as Service'.

    You'll hear that a *lot* if you go to gaming trade shows right now, a lot of influential people see it as the way to solve the issues of the current model, but in the process it could well kill the kind of games I like to play.

    By 'current model' I mean the one where you spend 18 to 24 month making a game, burn it to a disc (or put it on a server), put it on a shelf in a store (or link it on a website), and someone buys it. The money men don't like this model because all your return on investment comes at the end, and only for a short period of time. Then you spend another 18 to 24 months with no income as you build the next one. DLC was seen by some as way to circumvent that, but most DLC 'add-ons' are pretty lame, often adding nothing of worth (especially in story driven games).

    What 'Games as Service' does is say 'build a game in about 9 months, but make it so that the intial content in it is pretty small, then every few weeks you drop more content for it until such point as people stop buying the new bits'. There's less up front cost, once your initial SKU is out then you get fairly constant revenue from that point on. It sounds perfect.

    And for game designs that work with that, it is. MMO's have mostly drifted to this model, going from the 'few big box' releases to a more constant drip feed of content. Games like 'League of Legends' and 'Defense of the Ancients' show it can work extremely well.

    But where it falls down is traditional single player narrative driven games. Take Mass Effect, how do you build that to this games as service model? You could borrow from TV, and take the episodic route perhaps. But with the whole point of the model being to reduce intial costs you won't build the entire story for that initial release. That means you run the risk of your grand new narrative driven title doing a 'Firefly' and being cancelled long before it finishes, leaving fans with no closure. Or you get the opposite problem and your game turns into 'Lost', dragged out way beyond the original idea to the point where it collapses under it's own weight.

    Maybe it's my British roots that make this difficult for me to swallow. I'm used to stories that go on for a short while and then end properly, even long form shows in the UK tend to wrap up their stories in a couple of seasons (and crucially, British tv seasons tend to be filmed in their entirity before a single episode airs). Games as Service doesn't allow for this, if you're building everything up front to make sure it finishes as you intended in a satisfactory way, then you're going to need two years and you're working the way we all work now.

    My worry is that if Games as Service becomes the only way to afford to make the big spectacle AAA videogames I love, then its going to be at the cost of the great single player experiences I *really* love.
  9.  (10738.19)
    @Flabyo: I agree entirely, and hope that both it and Freemium, its nasty little brother, are just a phase we have to go through. I think it's hard to steer people away from the promise of making more for less, but I'm hoping that once that business model has been round the block a few times, fans will start seeing games that don't have a guaranteed ending (or might suddenly demand arbitrary amounts of money off them) as second-rate. In an ideal world story-games-as-service could then be a really good place to launch stories that otherwise wouldn't get made at all.
  10.  (10738.20)
    i agree wholeheartedly. i see square doing the episodic thing with some of their iOS games and it doesnt make me excited for the future where i cant just buy a game and then play it.

    production costs too high? cut back. the concept of teams continuing to balloon while costs skyrocketing is just ridiculous to me, but then again im probably the minority (read: not as big of a cash cow) because i just want to play good single player stuff. i dont care about multiplayer, i dont care about cut scenes, hell, for the most part i prefer XBLA games to retail releases at this point