Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday afternoon tidbits

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.


Kirk Hamilton said...

Currently working my way through Heavy Rain as well. It's intense, and there's a lot to think about... looking forward to finishing it so I can finally read more without fear of spoilers.

Denis Farr said...

I'm definitely at odds with Heavy Rain, having very much enjoyed the experience, but that connection makes me all the more critical.

I fear my initial posts will focus on the negative, before I focus on the positive (reminiscent of what I did with Dragon Age, I suppose?).

Mitch Krpata said...

There are definitely criticisms one could make. The ones I agree with the most are how "off" some of the details of the setting are -- how they're clearly European and not American. That's not a terrible thing, but, I mean, I've been to Philadelphia and this does not feel like Philadelphia to me.

But when I read complaints about doing mundane things like drinking OJ, well, we'll just have to disagree on the value of that. I really like that this is a game where people sleep, and eat, and go to the bathroom, and aren't just tireless, unflagging killing machines.

Denis Farr said...

I would definitely agree. The mundane actions pulled me in, and those were great for me.

Most of my quibbles are with the plot and writing, which I felt could have used more editing.

Kirk Hamilton said...

Definitely the first game in which I've been alllowed to make my character... fidgit. (In between super-tense standoffs and heart-stopping car chases, that is.) Personally, I dig those low-key parts.

iphone games review said...

I love rain, One of the beautiful gift of God, is what is the rain. Every thing is clear and looks pretty.