Dead Space: My October Surprise

Games for Fun, Gaming No Comments

Dead Space 360 Box I honestly wasn’t that excited about Dead Space. There were a few people in the office who religiously watched preview videos for this game, but I just couldn’t get into it. That main character looked weird to me and Dead Space seemed like a pretty standard third person game. It didn’t grab me initially and I didn’t plan on purchasing it. However, once the game was released, it started getting decent reviews (mostly around 90) so I took another look. Other people I knew started playing it and loving it, so I figured it was time to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I did.

Dead Space is what I call a “well done game.” It’s not super innovative or ground breaking, but every aspect of the game (save a few gameplay events, which I’ll get to later) from design to art to animation to sound (especially sound) is executed so smoothly. Dead Space certainly borrows from many other games. Influences from games like Doom 3, Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War are apparent, but Dead Space feels like a game you haven’t quite played before.

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Not Human Enough

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Too Human 360 Box Well, if the title is any indication you can guess where this is going.

I picked up Too Human with an open mind, and thought it might be decent. Sometimes you see opinions on message boards which tend to be overreactions. Someone I knew told me they were enjoying Too Human, so why not? I didn’t have anything else lined up at the time.

I fired it up and was actually drawn in right away. The introduction was decent. I like spacey stuff and as it turns out, you coming in off a drop ship with some other military types to search some cave in some remote region that everyone is scared of. You play as “Lord Baldur,” and you soon learn that the entire game’s story is based on Norse mythos, set in some techno-future. Okay, points for originality.

The combat isn’t bad to start with. I knew beforehand there would be lots of melee attacking, so I went with the Berserker class. You end up pushing the analog stick towards the enemy you want to attack, and then you keep changing the sticks direction to attack a new enemy (no buttons required). Eventually you end up getting guns, but they do less damage than melee weapons (and the range on them is terrible). Anyway, it’s definitely unlike any control scheme I’ve encountered again. More points for originality.

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The World Without Us

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The World Without UsI generally like to talk about games, but I enjoy reading nearly as much as playing games. So hey, here comes a book report.

I’ve been reading “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. It recently came out on paperback (I hate buying hardcover books, they’re too expensive and they eat up more shelf space) and it’s a book that I’ve wanted to check out for a while. I was told the premise of the book was a huge “what if” scenario if humans stopped existing on Earth. Although, out of 19 chapters, the first six mainly deal with how humans got to be where they are now (evolution through primates, and so on). Typically at the end of a chapter Weisman touches on which plants take over, which animal populations die off or take off, which human constructions fall apart, which is the good stuff for me.

Throughout most of the book, Wiesman introduces some situation, talks to an expert about that situation and tried to get them to explain what would happen if humans were gone, then follows up with his own imaginary story telling of the events that would play out.

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GDC 2008 Was Awhile Ago..

Game Development 2 Comments

.. but here are the notes Slaypiece and I took there. I didn’t really think of posting it here until now for some reason. Anyway, better late than never!

GDC ’08 Summary:

They Call it “Rockman” For a Reason

Games for Fun, Gaming 2 Comments

Megaman is hard.Megaman is probably my all time favorite game series.

If you’ve never played a Megaman game, it’s generally been a challenging series (which seems to be Capcom’s “thing”). I recently played through all the 8-bit and 16-bit Megamans and in case you’re wondering: Megaman 9 much harder that any previous Megaman game. All the memories of throwing NES controllers at walls are coming back, and once again I’m cursing out loud and scaring my wife while playing a video game. Thanks Capcom!

I’ve only beat one boss (Galaxy Man who I guess is the easiest to start with) and got to the end of the Jewel Man stage (and died) in two nights of playing, but I’ve played all the robot stages at least some. I’m a little disappointed they went after the super hardcore audience, and basically filled the game with all the annoying traps, puzzles and enemy placements from the previous games, instead of trying to being new people into the game. Games have come a long way since the last 8-bit Megaman, and in fact Megaman 9 seems to be missing features (like sliding).

Sadly, even if Megaman 9 was twice as hard I’d buy it since I loves me some Megaman, but this one is going to take awhile.