philosoraptor42: (Default)
[ profile] rhoda_rants decided to do this new meme so I guess I ought to follow it. If you are interested in sharing your current desktop image, the rules are pretty simple:
1.) Anyone who looks at this entry has to post this meme and their current wallpaper. (So yeah, that's mandatory right?)
2.) Explain in five sentences or less why you're using that wallpaper!
3.) Don't change your wallpaper before doing this! (Coz that's cheating!)

I'm a big fan of the Metroid Prime series. "Metroid Prime Trilogy" is like my favourite game of all time. I also love the colour effect on this pic. It's just generally really cool. There's a tumblr blog I follow especially to find new awesome Metroid pics.

(My desktop pic originated here)

Also.... ever wondered who would win out of Samus Aran and Boba Fett in a DEATH BATTLE?

(video link)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Parody of Lana Del Rey's depressing song "Video Games" altered so that it's actually about videogames. What happens when a woman marries the wrong brother?

(video link)

Next up, the Cracked "After Hours" discussion also consider who Princess Peach should choose, only this time between Mario and Bowser. You may be surprised by their decision....

(video link)

Also somewhat vaguely related is the funniest SMBC video for quite a while now. Not about Super Mario this time, but it is about videogames... and "pie-cake".

(video link)
philosoraptor42: (Metroid)

The Nintendo Official Magazine finish their review with the following summary:
  Bad graphics and animation
  Terrible story, dialogue, acting
  Abysmal platforming, puzzles
  Reprehensible abuse of trust
  There are no good things
Meanwhile N-Europe had the following to say:
Doctor Who: Return to Earth is not fun to play at all. It’s incredibly basic and yet frustratingly difficult for all the wrong reasons. The entire crystal/orb system is incredibly out-of-place and removes any feeling that you’re interacting with the environment. If I had to describe Return to Earth in one word it would be “evil”. Parents will likely see this game and, due to the fact that Doctor Who is on the box, will buy this for their kids as a Christmas present. It certainly feels as though Asylum know this, and have churned out any old rubbish as working hard on it won’t be much more profitable. Just think of all the kids that will be over the moon when they open this on Christmas day, only to have their hearts completely destroyed when they start playing it.

See that cold blank stare? Amy Pond's game persona will eat your soul !

So yeah, just make sure parents are warned, okay?

(Via Doctor Who TV)

philosoraptor42: (Metroid)

Zero Punctuation doesn't like "Metroid: Other M". Admittedly he doesn't seem to like ANY Nintendo games anymore, but then again he's mostly pretty disinclined to actually admit to liking anything. It's actually nice to see a review for a Nintendo game which doesn't go "well it's on a Wii and it has all those silly motion control thingies dunnit?"

I've also discovered a new blog. I've mainly just read the articles on this particular issue so far, but they write well about it and I look forward to seeing their wider scope of subject-matter in the future. Click the picture below for the blog link. :)

philosoraptor42: (Default)

Picture on left chosen because it is somewhat emo. Picture on right chosen because it looks cool.

Oh dear, and I'd been really looking forward to this one. I've been alerted to a rather big issue with the new Metroid game ("Metroid: Other M"). Now it has to be said that I'd been warned to expect a certain amount of objectification because of the group working on it (Team Ninja), but this I wasn't prepared for.

The real cause for concern is this cut-scene (pointed out on [ profile] the_gel  's blog) where Samus not only turns to jelly at the thought of facing a foe, Ridley, whom she has dealt with twice already (and another three times if you count the Metroid Prime games, which it seems that they probably aren't). She gets an attack of nerves so bad that she has to be saved, by a man. And not only that, but the man who saves her is black and expendable! *facepalm*:

To quickly explain the title of this post, it's one of the cons in the review I found. At the beginning of each Metroid game Samus normally loses a few abilities at the beginning of the game, often due to a malfunction. She then progresses through the game by gradually earning those abilities back (along with some extra ones). In this new game, she has a professional relationship with an older man called Adam who used to be her boss. Now that he's running the team she randomly chooses not to use her abilities until Adam gives her the order to do so. The suggestion here is that this is somewhat BDSM-like. If you don't know who Montana Fishburne is, she's Lawrence Fishburne's daughter and she's been having arguments with her daddy recently over her decision to go into porn (allowing Filmdrunk to get more than a few cheap laughs).

So here's the review from G4TV which caught my eye:
Metroid: Other M Review
By Abbie Heppe - Posted Aug 27, 2010

The Pros

* Secondary plotline is interesting, engaging
* Graphics are very pretty

The Cons

* Samus has more daddy issues than Montana Fishburne
* Control layout is awkward and interrupts combat
* All the game elements feel disjointed and not fully developed

As the 11th game in the series, Other M is a bizarre collaboration between the Metroid series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto and Team Ninja of Ninja Gaiden fame. Indeed, “odd pairings” becomes the common thread throughout the game and its clashing dualities extend to the storyline, control scheme and onscreen action.

Time-wise, Other M is tucked in between fan-favorite Super Metroid and the critically beloved Metroid Fusion -- the first game that showed a hint of Samus's personal history and the introduction of Adam Malkovich, a core character in its newest iteration.

This makes Other M the second-to-last game sequentially, as the bulk of Metroid games have wedged themselves further and further into the early years of Samus Aran’s story. Ironically, Other M feels like a prequel to the franchise while attempting to be the culmination of everything Metroid has been and become.

But I’m a Bounty Hunter

In the world of Other M, Samus stumbles upon her old Galactic Federation squad mates while answering a distress call on a seemingly abandoned vessel. Among the people she encounters is her former captain, Adam Malkovich. In the most contrived manner possible, Samus loses her special abilities. How? She opts not to use them. Why? She wants to show Adam she can follow orders.

Yes, that’s right. The woman who in the first five minutes of the game gives the squad access to the ship by using her missiles is restricted from using her abilities -- some which could open a path or save her life in the future -- until a bland male character dictates it to her. She does this because she likes him, but only as a friend.

No matter what way you rationalize this mechanic, when you're 10 minutes into the lava sector and you can't use your Varia Suit yet, you will understand how painfully stupid this plot device is.
Read more... )

I had previously considered that making Samus more "feminine" might cause problems (and the whole zero-suit thing was already causing issues tbh), but it sounds like they could have done a lot better than this.

The video review here:

Discussion about the issues here:

philosoraptor42: (Metroid)
New Metroid live-action trailer looks awesome!

Of course, this isn't the first live-action trailer:

(Trailer One - "Other M")

(Trailer Two - "Metroid Prime")
(Trailer Three - "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes")
philosoraptor42: (Default)

I mean seriously, I was not expecting this. My first response to the idea of 3D gaming was pretty similar to my response to 3D movies. Oh dear, headaches and stupid dimmed glasses. So to hear that the technology doesn't require glasses. Oh my goodness, wow.

Anyway the Escapist has an article explaining that there's already a working 3D screen and even a playable 3D version of "Starfox64" (otherwise known as "Lylat Wars") and they also note that Sony appear to be worried since they are already trash talking the idea of 3D without glasses. (Methinks that "Based off internally conducted research, naked-eye 3D for portables does not have high precision, and at present there are limitations" translates as "we haven't worked out how they did it yet, but it's time to chuck our old glasses-wearing prototype in the trash".)

Anyway, there's a neat little interview at E3. They aren't able to show us how 3D looks, but the interview managed to get me excited (even if it is another case of Nintendo selling me games I've already played). The representative was particularly cool and I was amazed to hear him actively suggesting that they might tweak the water temple in the Ocarina Of Time. (Seriously, how often would you expect any videogame company, Nintendo included, to admit that one of their most popular titles could do with some tweaking? Yet I'm fairly sure I wasn't alone in thinking that the water temple for adult Link in that game was a little unpolished in places.)

Anyway, watch the interview and see what you think. I am so excited!

Click here if embedded video won't play.

(Cross Posted to Nintendo Wii)
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Okay, I haven't felt like I could review a videogame for a while now. Not least because I think you need to finish a game to review it... Unless it's a negative review and the game reaches a stage where it becomes impossible/pointless to proceed. But also because I couldn't be arsed. In this case, I feel like I need to write something because I can't help but feel that other reviewers on the net are missing some important details.

So first of all let me note that I haven't played the original Dead Space. I had no idea how story-driven this game was going to be, but I kind of got used to that. (Though [ profile] nonsecateur recently asked which was worse: videogame dialogue or dialogue in porn - and I had a hard time defending the former. Admittedly this was not while playing DS:E, but during an early level of No More Heroes - which btw [ profile] tahu , asides from the clunky dialogue is every bit as awesome as you'd been hyping it up as!)

It kinda feels like the Doom movie plot (where humans are turning into monsters from hell) turned back into a game again. It also comes off a bit like a FPS version of Eternal Darkness (a game where the characters often find themselves halluncinating things as the evil messes with their sanity). So there was plenty to like about the premise. The problem is that the story isn't actually told that well and I cannot help but think that this is probably because it expects me to be familiar with the previous game (for which this is a prequel). As such, there are all sorts of details which are undoubtedly passing me by.

Read more... ) (Cross-posted to Nintendo Wii)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
I presume everyone by now has heard about Roger Ebert's restatement of his position that "Video Games Can Never Be Art".

Ebert originally stated that videogames could not be art for the following reasons:
They tend to involve (1) point and shoot in many variations and plotlines, (2) treasure or scavenger hunts, as in "Myst," and (3) player control of the outcome. I don't think these attributes have much to do with art; they have more in common with sports.
Before we go on, it's worth noting that the artistic elements within videogames are not per se enough to qualify them as art in the sense Ebert is going for. As he puts it, they might be art, but they are not "high art":
Anything can be art. Even a can of Campbell's soup. What I should have said is that games could not be high art, as I understand it.
It's at this stage where I find myself arguing whether even movies meet this high standard. For what reason might we say that "Schindler's List" is art in the way that a poem by Tom Gunn or a painting by Turner is art? In fact, if novels are art, but player control of the outcome counts against this, are we to imagine that a "choose your own adventure" story could never be art and doesn't such a judgement sound rather pretentious? One of the guys from Penny Arcade had this to say:
There was the newspaper headline back in 1959 with regards to Jackson Pollock's work that said "This is not art — it's a joke in bad taste." It's a funny line but time has proven it was also completely wrong. Ebert has thrown his hat in with the rest of the short sighted critics who would rather debate what is or isn't art, rather than simply enjoy the work of artists.
Read more... )
The final word I'll leave you with comes from the same Escapist article as was quoted above:
"Videogames, yes," I answer. "I've been doing it over 20 years now." Really without any effort at all, I launch into a little love manifesto of sorts, talking about how much I enjoy being a game designer, how wonderful it is to make games, all kinds of games. I even tell them about the incredibly wonderful modding experience I had with my 7-year-old daughter. "I am teaching her to play Risk," I tell them. "And when I told her she couldn't own the oceans, she said, 'But, Mommy, you're a game designer. You can change the rules!'" We did, and it made the game a whole lot different, and the best part about it was that we made our first mod together. It was a wonderful, geeky moment that perhaps only another game designer parent can appreciate.
Now personally I think that's really sweet, and perhaps it's not so different from teaching your child to paint. :)
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Okay, so I interrupted my girlfriend when she was on the internet to find one of the feminist blogs she reads (one I don't tend to watch) featured an image of Super Mario on its latest article. I was intrigued and decided to check out what it said. I thought perhaps it was about girl gamers or something.

This is the image that went with the article:
Image under the cut (SFW)... )
Click here to find out what the article is about. *shudders*

x-posted from Nintendo Wii

philosoraptor42: (Default)
Ok, basically I wrote this in the comments of the Nintendo Wii LJ group. Since my comments were so well received and since I spent so much time on them and (most importantly) since I haven't written anything in my blog for so long, I'm posting it all here:

So....... here's a summary of the games I have and what I think of them. It should give a pretty simple idea of which ones are great, which ones are ok, and which ones require a bit of thought.

Personal Favourites
Okay, these first seven games are my personal favourites
Zelda: Twilight Princess
Super Mario Galaxy
Trauma Centre: Second Opinion
All of these games will take a long time, involve plenty of variety and are great fun from beginning to end. If you don't already own them I'm surprised.

Yes, that's right, I include Trauma Centre in that list. It's actually one of the best games for the Wii. It's imaginative, exciting, challenging, makes good use of the Wii controls, and also the music is pretty catchy. If you haven't played it either find someone who's got it or just buy it. You won't regret it.

Excite Truck
Great fun from beginning to end. Perfect controls. You'll probably notice that it is hideously underrated. (I'm hoping that Mario Kart works as well as this did.) I only leave it out of the earlier three because, being a driving game, it doesn't have the variety those games did. Nevertheless, what with being able to choose what music to drive to while you smash through other trucks, navigate through trees at high speed, and rocket-boost your truck over ramps and go soaring through the air, all go to make this a damn good choice.

Rayman Raving Rabbids
A true personal favourite (which unfortunately means that many people really don't understand why I love this game so much). I loved this from beginning to end, and still enjoy playing the dance game a lot. While it can be good to play in multiplayer, I found it great fun on my own.

Link's Crossbow Training - WARNING - VERY SHORT
Yes, this game really won't take you very long, but is actually probably the most fun of all the shooting games I've played. (It also benefits from being significantly cheaper, despite containing the Wii Zapper which, unfortunately, you might as well do without.) As usual, this is another Nintendo game which has that 'certain something' to it which just makes it 'work'. While it's short, it's gaming genius from start to finish.

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edititon
Quite simply the best version of the game you'll find. I only put it this far down the list because you've probably played it already. Nevertheless, it works really well with the Wii controls and I absolutely love it.

Update: Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock
Absolutely amazing. Not just a game, but an experience. The easy mode won't take you very long, but don't worry as you won't be satisfied until you've completed it on Medium. That'll take you a bit longer and then the addiction shifts to completing it on Hard mode. Basically this game becomes an obsession and it's fortunate that it inspires so much passion as it costs a bloody fortune!

Pretty cool games
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
There are some very nice moments in this game, so it feels really mean of me to put it in the secondary category like this. However, in the end I felt a little underwhelmed. When I finished the game it just felt like something was missing. (This may be partly because I'm such a huge fan of the previous two games.) Another problem was I felt a bit too guided sometimes. Metroid games have always been about a lone bounty hunter doing their own thing not a special agent working for a boss. So, when you get contacted by some soldier saying 'come this way now' and get told you have been given 'objectives', you can sometimes feel a little irritated. (I'm actually being pretty picky here, but if I don't explain my issues with the game most people would wonder why this isn't amongst my personal favourites.)

Zack and Wiki (SHORT? Haven't finished it yet, so not sure.)
I actually love this game, but now I'm getting VERY stuck and I'm spending far too much time looking at FAQs. (That could just mean that I suck). Also I think I'm coming to the end of the game which means that the game isn't really terribly long. Nevertheless, the game is genius in so many ways. The game consists in a series of point and click puzzle games with a limited number of items to use. (The problem with this later level is that it is much longer and there are more items to keep track of. Nevertheless, the FAQ said that it was the hardest level in the game so I guess that explains it.)
Update: Yes, it is kinda short and the huge penultimate level is hugely irritating. There are some extra quests after the game is finished to find some extra bits of treasure but, to be honest, this extra section isn't that appealing. I still think the game is fantastic, but it is a little on the short side.

Not the best graphics, but a great shooting game nonetheless. A perfect port of a Sega arcade game. The rather odd way the game works means that it only has three levels, but adds more and more little sections to those levels the higher a level you get. While it might sound a bit dodgy it actually works very well.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
Rather unforgiving in one player, but in two player the game is enormous fun. The menus feel rather unpolished, but the quality of the game cannot be denied.

Super Paper Mario
I've actually traded this in now. It's very text heavy and the later levels seem to run low on inspiration. However, that's by comparison to the earlier levels which are absolute genius. For the most part you'll find that the huge amount of text is nevertheless funny and entertaining even if it does take forever to scroll through. The game is absolutely fantastic for the first three quarters, but it becomes less fun after that, so when you reach the end you won't want to play through a second time. If you can borrow it from a friend, definitely do so.

This game is brilliant. I absolutely loved it. It involves rolling a ball around, but it's just done so, so well. However, length-wise it seems to rely on you wanting to play the whole thing all over again in 'mirror-mode' and unfortunately, unlike with Excite Truck, the levels don't feel particularly different when played backwards. As such, if you find yourself playing this game constantly (as I did) this won't last longer than a week. It's a real shame.

Don't touch this!
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Starts off fun, then just gets boring. Slash at monsters, slash at more monsters, deal with naff puzzle, more slashing at monsters, a bad guy taunts us, then we kill them. Seriously, you have to a complete superhero obsessive to find any of this fun in the long term. It started off being pretty entertaining, but I couldn't keep going with it.

Mario Strikers Charged
Whether you win a game or not is pretty much random. When trying to win a cup in single player you have a semi-final to go through. No matter how well you've been doing prior to the semi-final, if you lose the semi-final you lose the cup (no retry options). The Wii remote controls feel tagged on. Just don't bother.

Call Of Duty 3
Oh, Jesus F**king Christ, the motions don't work, sometimes you find yourself stuck spinning in circles because of the cursor controls. Did I mention that the motion-controls don't work. And, oh dear me, the hand to hand fights are so ridiculously unforgiving, goodness knows what kind of motions you are meant to be performing, and it's a matter of luck whether you win or lose. Must be the worst Wii game I have ever played. Honestly, don't bother with it.


philosoraptor42: (Default)

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