Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday afternoon tidbits

I can't remember the last time I've been to a show, but that all changes tonight when the Electric Six comes to town. I have no idea what to expect from those lunatics. Frankly, I'm a little frightened.

-Jeremy Parish has been writing a great series for 1up's RPG blog about Final Fantasy XIII. Everybody who just regurgitates press releases and screenshots ought to look at this series for how to make talking about an upcoming game interesting. Parish brings a lot of knowledge and insight to bear. It's all good, but unfortunately he hasn't tagged the series in a way that would let me link to every part at once. So here, check out part 10, "Sword Beats Gun."

-Important news: You can get Fairway Solitaire for free. Wait, let me amend that. You must get Fairway Solitaire for free. I've written about this game many times before before, and I still play it. It's that good. (h/t Dubious Quality)

-At Offworld, Tom Armitage posted an insightful piece about The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. His main point, which I agree with, is that the game's success is due to its convincing portrayal of its setting and characters as physical entities. Prowling the halls of Butcher Bay as Riddick feels authentic, especially when it comes time to take somebody on in hand-to-hand content. There's heft and weight to Riddick, his surroundings feel sturdy, and the forcefulness of his attacks is surprising.

One more thing I'd note: last year, I was impressed by the physicality of the characters in Far Cry 2, Dead Space, and Mirror's Edge. Riddick beat them to the punch by four years.

-This is awesome. A YouTube user named Underworld23 has posted a ton of classic RPG music, sorted by category: town themes, overworld themes, battle themes, and a lot more. Yes, I spent far too much time listening to these last night.

-I've never read anything more blatantly whorish than Harry Knowles' explanation for why he wouldn't review X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The problem isn't so much that he wasn't planning to write a review. That's his choice. But just read that first paragraph: he recommends that his readers skip the movie, because none of his editors were invited to a press screening! Astonishing.

Further still, Harry says:
I'm more eager to spend my money on a film I do support, which is why I have bought tickets for my third watching of STAR TREK next week, and if I were you - I'd save up to see it twice, rather than have a bad experience this weekend.

Star Trek -- that's the movie that Harry watched at a surprise screening, where he hung out with the film's screenwriters and producer. The one where Leonard Nimoy showed up and his very presence made Harry cry. Look, AICN is a fan site, and it's never really pretended to be anything else. But since we've been talking this week about a lack of scruples in the games press, it's nice to see, at least, that we're not the only ones who deal with it.


Mike said...

I hope you've already heard about The Ocarina Of Rhyme.

If not, check it out. ~10 tracks of classic rap vocal tracks skillfully laid out over Zelda music from over the years.

Gary A. Lucero said...

I'm always amazed when a game can immerse you even though you can see its technical flaws. I think Riddick does that and for me a game like Fallout 3 does it too.

Maybe it's the brutality of it all, or the fact that the characters are able to express human emotions and aren't held back by a Teen rating.

I still don't see people's fascination with Dead Space though. I bought it and played for several hours and all I could think of was "Bioshock ripoff" -- is it true that it started out as a System Shock sequel?

Anyway, I loved Bioshock but when it was done, it was done. It is essentially an action adventure/shooter hybrid, tourist attraction for me, and as such doesn't really need a follow up.

Give me twelve Fallouts or Mass Effects in a row, I'll play them all, but shooters have to give me something a little different each time or they aren't worth playing.

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