We had a big rainstorm here yesterday. When I walked into my local Gamestop, soaking wet, I said, "Ironically, I'm looking for Heavy Rain." The employee did not laugh. Foiled again!
-The PAX schedule has been announced! Lots of interesting stuff on there. Having not been to this kind of thing before, I'm not sure how early I need to show up at the panels I want to see, though I'm suspecting they won't be the most popular ones. I'm instinctively passing over things I know will be heavily attended, like the PA panels and the keynote, but I don't want to miss the journalism panels. I'm already building a stockpile of spitballs to throw at Croal and Totilo.
-Sparky Clarkson has one of the most cogent takes I've seen about why No More Heroes 2 is diminished by not having an overworld. Speaking of the first game's rendering of Santa Destroy, he says "the city serves the purpose of the game. It creates a sea of banality for Travis (and the player) to escape from into the vibrant world of the assassin rankings. The city helps to characterize Travis as a loser. And the city says something interesting about other open-world games." That's dead-on. And without that counterpoint, the sequel doesn't seem nearly as savagely satirical.
-I gave up on Modern Warfare 2 long ago, for many reasons, but I still appreciated L.B. Jeffries' rigid analysis of MW2's multiplayer map style. His key insight: in this game, the map is a weapon. That certainly explains my uncanny ability to get shot by opponents I couldn't see.
-I'm only a few hours into Heavy Rain at this point, and I have to say I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Despite its healthy Metacritic score, I've been surprised both at the volume and the ferocity of the criticisms I've read of the game on message boards, blogs, and Twitter. One of the more balanced criticisms comes, naturally, from the Brainy Gamer, who says that he finds Heavy Rain to be at cross-purposes.
I think there's room to like or dislike the game, and plenty of complaints to make about it, but frankly I think a lot of the complaints I've read -- not at the above link -- are misguided. I'll say more about that next week.