I'd like to think of myself as somewhat up to date with the goings on in video game land. I lived my life holding myself in high esteem, and with a sense of unflappable self confidence. That all changed when Shadows of the Damned just sort of came out without me knowing anything about it. Stuff like this isn't supposed to slip under my radar. Apart from a brief and obscure trailer from E3 I had seen nothing on this game. I knew it was those crazy boys over at Grasshopper working on it though and that it had some Japanese heavy hitters associated with it, so as soon as I realized I'd slept on it's release I double timed it to get a copy via GameFly. What I ended up playing was an experience like none other that I've experienced in quite a while.
Continue reading "GAME REVIEW: Shadows of the Damned (PS3)"
I love Valve, dear reader. I've had a Steam account ever since the original Half-Life came out, and rarely a night goes by where I don't at least consider playing Team Fortress 2. Many's the occasion that I've woken up suddenly only to find myself still sitting on my chair, the mouse cursor hovering over the "Launch Game" option. What I'm saying is is that I've sent Gabe Newell birthday presents. Usually boxes of chocolate - and by the looks of things, he's been enjoying them (HEYOOOOOOO fat jokes.) At the same time, I'm a big fan of a lot of Electronic Arts' titles, so their focus on their "Origin" digital distribution platform has me dreading the eventual choice to use one service over the other. This is, of course, a ridiculous and unnecessary choice, since it's entirely possible to use both programs - even at the same time, if you've got enough Mega-Hertz! Just the same, it's had me reflecting on what sorts of things that I like on the Steam platform that I would expect to see mirrored (and hopefully improved upon) in Origin.
One of the big pieces of content that I realized I'd never really engaged myself with is the huge variety of low-cost games available on Steam. These titles, usually created by independent developers and distributed by Steam, have always been on the periphery of my PC gaming experience. I knew that they were there - but were any of them actually worth my cash? How do they stack up against the games that I play most regularly - the titles from big-budget software developers? Did they actually contribute positively to the Steam experience overall?
This week, I decided to find out.
Continue reading "GAME REVIEW: Steam Titles"
I'm a pretty big fraidy-cat. I'm not talking about the kinda guy that's spooked out by
or was terrified of Chucky or Jason or Kreuger when he was growing up. I had to run screaming out of the theater in the middle of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
. The opening sequence of Batman Returns
made me wet my pants - I had to excuse myself and hide in another theater that was showing a rerelease of Pinnochio
, which was equally as terrifying. Fuckin' whales, son! They'll eat your dad!
Needless to say, I haven't played a lot of scary games in my time. Dead Space (and 2) are about close as I usually get. I certainly don't wait in line to play any of the Silent Hill titles - or any other Japanese horror games, for that matter. (Murdernator recently remarked, astutely, that American horror is about "Please don't kill me please don't kill me please don't kill me" whereas Japanese horror is more to the tune of "AGH KILL ME KILL ME KILL ME". I didn't jump into the first FEAR game partly for its Ringu-esque antagonist, even though it was acclaimed as a solid title. The existence of FEAR 2 went unnoticed by yours truly. But the trailers for FEAR 3 that debuted at last year's E3 piqued my interest. Not only did it seem to have some solid first-person shooting action, but some atypical "ghost" mechanics and a surprisingly robust fiction. I decided to steel myself against whatever terror F3AR might have to offer up - and perhaps begin the battle against the demons of my childhood.
Continue reading "GAME REVIEW: F.3.A.R. (PC)"
The original Portal was one of the biggest, most delightful surprises in video gaming - a simple, student-created project eventually turned into the quiet fifth party member in the sentai squad that comprised The Orange Box - Valve's ingenious 2007 video game compilation release. Portal introduced us into the world of Aperture Science and its demented computer overlord, GLaDOS, who ran you through a gamut of puzzles requiring the use of the Dual Portal Device, which you eventually used to escape certain death, break free, and bring an end to GLaDOS's seemingly unstoppable testing rampage. Portal was a short but satisfying affair, and as the credits rolled, the world was left to wonder - what now?
It's been a couple of years, but we finally have our answer, and it's hard to think that any human alive could be truly dissatisfied with it.
Continue reading "GAME REVIEW: Portal 2 (PC)"