Post mortem: Nier

There are great games, and then there are games that are great despite actually being rather poor in the “game” department.  For some reason flawed gems like Nier (Mass Effect is another) end up becoming some of my favorites because they managed to overcome their shoddy implementation to tell a phenomenal story, and thus leave a lasting mark on my gamer soul.  I played through Nier twice in order to see the (first) alternate ending, and I almost never play a game more than a single time.  It was just that gripping. Nier puts you in the shoes of a [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Radiant Historia

It has been nearly twenty-five years since I played my first JRPG, Final Fantasy, and as time has gone by I’ve played fewer games from the genre every year.  Although I like the formula that these role playing games bring to the table, there is no denying that innovation within the genre is all but dead.  I probably would have given Radiant Historia a pass if not for Jeremy Parish‘s enthusiastic review on the now defunct Active Time Babble podcast.  I’m glad that I picked up a copy – this is a Nintendo DS game that JRPG fans cannot allow [... read the rest ...]

My gaming history: Game Boy

I am a long time Nintendo handheld gamer, but were it not for a family tragedy when I was young I might never have picked up a portable system.  My brother, suffering from the leukemia (ALL) that would eventually kill him, was given a Game Boy and four games – shown below – by the local branch of the Lions Club.  I don’t know the reasons behind the generous donation, but it was a toy that was shared by the whole family and gave us some good times in the midst of pain.   Although we couldn’t afford any games [... read the rest ...]

Self piracy

Video Games Comments Off
Sep 162011

Why allow others to pirate your game, when you can pirate it yourself and pick up sales in the process? tinyBuild Games has found success in uploading its new game, No Time To Explain, to the Pirate’s Bay. [...] The game has a unique feature that the full-fledged normal version does not: all of its characters wear pirate hats in-game, along with an ever-present pirate theme. [...] “You can’t really stop piracy, all you can do is make it work for you and/or provide something that people actually want to pay for. For us this is humor, we like making [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Machinarium

A couple of years ago I tried the demo for Machinarium and was not impressed.  After playing the three demo levels I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, and never even considered spending money on the game.  It turns out I didn’t have to – after gifting Lost Horizon to one of the hosts of the GameBurst podcast for a job well done, I was repaid with a generous gift of the Humble Indie Bundle #2 and #3, and specifically Machinarium.  Not wanting to be a prude, I fired up the quirky little puzzler and played it [... read the rest ...]

It’s way too early to declare that AAA gaming is dead or even dying, but as Bill Harris points out, there’s an unappealing aroma emanating from that corner of the market: Would I rather buy one $59 game or 20 mobile games? With almost no exceptions, I’d rather have a mobile games. They fit into my 10-minute lifestyle really well, and I can start them up in 5 seconds. I was slow to jump on this train, but Chris Kohler was right: this is absolutely the elephant in the room for Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Sorry, the market just isn’t [... read the rest ...]

Post mortem: Dungeon Siege III

Back in my university days I played the original Dungeon Siege.  It was a passable roleplaying game – I remember the world being generic and the combat being slow-paced – but not special enough to warrant the purchase of the sequel.  With that history in mind, I never would have given Dungeon Siege III a second glance without the mini-revolt that diehard fans of the series started when details of the third game started to surface. “This isn’t a Dungeon Siege game – it’s more like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance!” the complaints went.  That got my attention.  My wife and [... read the rest ...]

There are a lot of reasons to avoid shopping at GameStop, or their affiliate EB Games:  they rip off gamers with their used game pricing, they stock very few copies of PC games, they push terrible warranties onto unsuspecting / less savvy consumers, and they pre-open all of their new games just to name a few.  But now they’ve managed to sink to a whole new low:   OnLive and Square Enix announced yesterday that as an extra incentive for gamers who couldn’t quite bring themselves to pull the trigger on the new Deus Ex release, all boxed copies of [... read the rest ...]

Aug 222011
Post mortem: Bayonetta

I’m having a hard time deciding what to write about Bayonetta after polishing it off last Friday because, after all, I’ve already written nine hundred and twenty two words about the game’s demo. I played the game at an incredibly leisurely pace which was completely at odds with the cadence of the game’s content; the twelve hour story mode took me nearly two months to complete (but that was mostly a result of the beautiful summer weather and should not be taken as an indictment of the game).  In almost all respects, Bayonetta’s demo was an extremely accurate portrayal of [... read the rest ...]

The first hit is always free

During the PSN outage I managed to clear up my backlog of demos, but the gorgeous Canadian summer weather has me behind the eight ball again, although not as severely as before.  I recently carved out a chunk of time to sample a few games that caught my eye. Red Faction: Armageddon The most recent installation of the moderately successful Red Faction series, Armageddon, is sadly also the last.  It’s a damning indictment of the mentality of the huge AAA publishers that a series that sells decently is not considered profitable enough to continue.  You sell a gazillion titles, or [... read the rest ...]

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