Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday afternoon tidbits

I think I have a rare weekend with nothing to do. Whatever it takes, I'm going to keep it that way. I'm not even going to wear pants if I can help it. Flower and Street Fighter IV are on the docket for me -- how about you?

-I've recently begun listening to the Idle Thumbs podcast, which is always a good time. They really outdid themselves with last week's episode, "Citizen Killzone," which featured a song about the guy from PSXExtreme who took issue with Edge's Killzone 2 review. For some reason, the direct link to the MP3 isn't working right now; the link posted on GSW goes to somebody clearing his throat. But it's about halfway into the full episode. As for the PSXExtreme editorial itself, it was the kind of thing that makes me think that some of us just live in separate worlds, and no reconciliation is possible.

-What's the difference between me and a guy who actually makes video games? I can't say why F.E.A.R. 2 doesn't seem to quite work, and Steve Gaynor can. My review will posted next week, but believe me when I say his post is far more illuminating.

-Mike Schiller at PopMatters took a look at the cult favorite Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, a game I desperately wanted to like. He makes some excellent points about it's mash-up of styles, and that is what made it appealing. But I had two major problems: one, the RPG aspect was oppressively deep for a game whose mechanics were based on Bejeweled-style gem swapping, and two, the computer was cheap as all hell. Will they fix this for the sequel, Galactrix? I hope so. The Flash demo has certainly hooked me.

-Variety is nuts for cutting Ben Fritz loose. He was the first I saw to break the news about cutbacks at G4, wrote a smart take on The Lost and Damned, and confirmed a skateboard peripheral for the next Tony Hawk game. Not bad for a week's work.

-The Killzone 2 TV commercial is pretty cool. This is not my opinion. This is fact. (via GiantBomb)


Julian said...

I think the AI had to be a little bit cheap in Puzzle Quest, partially to make up for it's utter and complete lack of strategy, and partially to make up for the numerous easily exploitable strategies available to players. I can't say those cheap strategies were a flaw per se, because they actually made the game much more enjoyable for me. But then I can be sort of a munchkin when provided a venue that asks for it. If the computer didn't cheat a little, it you could crush it handily even without the cheap builds and tactics. I thought the RPG stuff was diverse but somewhat shallow, personally. There were too many exploitable combinations, and too many different things to do that didn't make enough of a difference. Forging items, training mounts, learning spells from captives, and sieging towns are stuff to do, I guess, but none of them are necessary. I could see how that array of options would seem staggering at first, but once you get your toes wet you realize they're just diversions.

Nels Anderson said...

Are you monitoring my thoughts Krpata or I am yours? I've been making my way through the Idle Thumbs archive lately too. I tried to give them a listen when it first started (or restarted, I guess) but there was too much banter and just laughter. Not sure if something change after episode 3 or if it was just me, but it's really good listening.

You aren't getting into Dawn of War 2 this weekend? The single player game is damn solid so far and actually reminds me a bit of Myth. It's highly recommend giving it a look.

Anonymous said...

SFIV is on my docket as well. I just finished unlocking all the characters last night, now I'm splitting my time between the challenges (to get all the costume colors and personal actions) and gingerly dipping my toe into online competition.

Waiting on a TE stick from Amazon...

Iroquois Pliskin said...

Idle Thumbs is pretty rad. The first few episodes they never let each other get a thought out, and I was like, "hey, let someone get a word in edgewise here" but it's gotten so much better. good discussion and also genuinely funny.