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Posts by FireFish
At some point, as I realized that this E3 is less exciting than what I remembered from some of the past years, I decided to keep track of the highlights in each conference (very subjective, mind you, so I skipped games that I personally found irrelevant). Thing is, some of the conferences were packed with games, yet they lacked a good presentation, while others were the opposite. And I wanted to have a more clear view of the entire picture.
A quick overview:
- Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony are in the end the top scoring conferences.
- Microsoft was for me the hardest to rate and even the reason why I made this list: it had so many games presented without hype, that by the end of the presentation I forgot 90% of them. But when looking back, they really did have quite few cool games like Metro and Shadow of Mordor, etc. At least when compared to the other conferences…..
- Compared to Microsoft, Ubisoft presented fewer games, but man, was their conference just so much more fun! I decided to give them points for that because I think a good conference should get us enthusiastic even about games that we’re not that much into. Otherwise, I’d just follow those 5 games that I truly love and watch their youtube trailers.
- Sony’s presentation style I found again somewhat mediocre. A bunch of games which we’ve known about before, like Detroit and God of War. I mention these two because seeing more game footage was a bit of a disappointment in both cases.
- Detroit gave me the impression of more of a psychological game in the first trailer, while now it seemed like you’re playing with militants for a specific cause, meaning that you’ll be revolting in the street and doing big actions for a cause that you might or might not relate to (and yes, I know some of you will say that it’s a game where you take decisions – but I somehow doubt it won’t be like most games: lady character: “Here, want to burn out and destroy this plaza, violence is the only thing they understand?” me: “No, I believe in peaceful reasoning”, lady character “Ok, then I’ll smash everything either way, this needs to be done”, me: “….”).
- As for God of War, there’s a reason why I like it: it has, like almost no other game, these incredible huge scale environments, totally unrealistic as such, but a wonderful representation of ancient Greek mythology. There is never anything plain in that game, it’s all over the top (and yet well made). And the character is ruthless. This trailer did have some cool monsters, but it lacked the scale and felt like they went for more realistic and for humanizing Kratos. Which is a shame imho…
- EA and Bethesda: both decent, but not extraordinary. Ea actually had one game that I am interested in: A Way Out. I’m surprised to see a well made split screen game with a captivating story! As for Bethesda, Wolfenstein and Evil Within were the highlights. It’s more of the same, but I liked the two games so I’m happy to see the continuation. By why was the Bethesda conference so ..silly? Whyyyyy? I have very little patience with my precious time and if I was there I even imagined I would have walked out, just so that they feel my reaction. To be honest I’m tired of having all this silliness around grown-up platforms and games. It’s a bad idea to start with to call these “games”, but rubbing it in makes it just annoying.
- And then there’s Nintendo. To be honest, the only reason why I was interested is because I now have a Switch and I was hoping to see some bigger games coming in the future. Well, I don’t think I got much of that, but I can’t tell for sure since I was hypnotized by whatever crazy colors for ADD kids they were showing on screen :D
This short game was quite a surprise for me especially after trying out a few promising indie games lately and being slightly disappointed by the lack of resources that sometimes accompany these games. Indie and experimental games have many times quite original ideas that get me all excited and curious and then unfortunately loose many points because of a not so appealing implementation.
However this game’s main gimmick is that it focuses completely on the story, narration and player choices rather than on usual game play. And a simple 3D engine is that that it needed to put you in the right mood! What this game does really well is offering an interesting and especially funny story to the player.
So here’s my experience: it took about 1h30 to go through the whole game (and the demo contains another ~1h of fun).
++ awesome narration, great deep narrator voice and very funny witty lines
++ awesome mind tricks and many choices along the path
++ has a very original game demo!
+ good level design, an abundance of nice little touches
– shorter than expected
– choices are independent so it boils down to different linear game branches; there’s a bit of backtracking involved to make sure you didn’t miss a path. But the originality of the events is totally worth it.
All in all, I really recommend playing it! And if you still need convincing: TRY THE DEMO! Either from Steam or from their official site: http://www.stanleyparable.com/. It’s free, short and sweet and gives you just the right feeling of the game without any spoilers of the story. I recommend playing it even if you plan to get the game anyway, it’s so original!
Hello artsy gamers and artsy gamerettes! Hey, did you know it’s December? Season of the gifts is here! And since we couldn’t wait any longer until this year’s Artsy Secret Santa:
Presenting: the first artsygamer.com group gift event! For this solemn occasion I propose, the game Psychonauts. Have funny with this funny, original, crazy, adventurous travel through colorful cartoony minds… don’t just try, BE a psychonaut!
To enter go to: http://www.steamgifts.com/giveaway/CvoMR/psychonauts
For those new to Steamgifts, the way it works is that at the expiration of the time a winner is randomly chosen from the entries. More detailed explanation in an older post.
You can only see that page if you’re a part of the Artsygamer steam group. If you’re not yet just leave a comment saying so and we’ll add you. Hurry, the random winner is drawn in 2 days. If for some reason Steamgifts doesn’t realize you’re part of the Artsygamer group it may need to resync your Steam account. To force it to do it right now go to http://www.steamgifts.com/sync and click on Force Sync (useful in case you just joined the group as Steamgifts seems to only update accounts with Steam every couple of days).
Any other questions or problems please pose them in the comments and we’ll fix it soon. Have fun and good luck!
At last, the long awaited Artsy Photo Duel is baaack!
…drumrolls…. In the left corner we have an exquisite image from the heart of the central african territory taken by Void in Farcry 2; while in the right corner we have a nocturnal picture taken in the enchanting woods of Khorinis by Firefish in Gothic 2.
Let the voting begin (-5 to 5 scale)! Arstygamers, come and pick your fav!
And for those of you that have the courage: we’re waiting for your artsy screenshots to start a new duel! :D
Happy to propose the song of the day :D
This one’s from the Sands of Time – love how it’s so energetic, perfectly fit for battles and yet it has a clear oriental feeling that adds to the atmosphere of the game!
The last sketch reminded me of how you help these silly sailors build their ship in Black & While. The funny song got stuck to my brain ever since :D
Dreamfall is the sequel to a pretty classic 2D adventure game, The Longest Journey. It would be a good idea to play both since the stories relate, yet playing only the second can also be a very interesting experience. Its narrative and characters are what make this game great – while the gameplay might be a bit frustrating and sometimes slow. Definitely a good choice for those that enjoy long dialogues, a multitude of wonderful different environments and parallel stories that eventually intersect! (PS: unfortunately the trailer doesn’t really do the game justice)
In the last years I’ve stumbled across a couple of indie games i found pretty original: Samorost and Machinarium (link to demos). They both have an original and funny story, great music and sounds and really interesting puzzles. So, I’ve finally decided to check their background and it turned out they belong to the same company: Amanita Design – an independent Czech video game developing company founded in 2003. These two games are their most popular and have an impressive number of awards.
I also recommend checking out their short animations and flash sites, resembling much of the feeling of the games. As a side note, Machinarium is also availabe for Linux and Mac OS X!
I love old games! And it’s not just because they make you relive that childhood enthusiasm but also because many of them have a great artistic value (some in the real sense of the word and some more as an inspiration for some modern games). I’m guessing everyone loves finding that old game they’ve been searching for who knows how long – so i’ll get to the point: there’s a great site that has an enormous database of such games.. probably anything you can think of: Abandonia. Most of the games here are abandonware = they don’t belong to anyone anymore so you can download them for free. Some more important names like Prince of Persia, Another World or MDK are still under copyright restrictions and for those you have a handy link towards the official sites.
There’s just one problem: most of them don’t -properly- work under recent operating systems (doh)! The solution to this is a very easy to install and to work with program: DOS Box. This is a great piece of software that simulates a tiny DOS environment where you’ll be able to run the games (or any other DOS program). Most sound/video issues will be solved by doing so! A 2 line tutorial: after installing and running the program this will add the games directory to the console:
mount C D:\path\to\your\games\dir
This mounts a directory to the virtual partition ‘C’ and switches to it – where you’ll find your directory structure. You move around with the standard DOS commands. For more info just type “intro” or “help” and you’re good to go.
To start your interest I’ll give you my personal *needed to find* oldies:
– a brilliant game in my opinion! Only one let down (which was very popular at the time): it can get pretty frustrating… Here’s a demo.
– gets really tough in the end, i never finished although i tried and i tried…!
|3. Stone Age
– an awesome puzzle game with special music!
|And last but not least:
– again a logic game. It might seems to be for kids but believe me it gets extremely hard in no time.
When I first played this game I had absolutely no idea what to expect and I found it rather confusing. Perhaps this is what the creators intended, but I think that certain guidelines could help avoid the feeling of disappointment or frustration one might get after exploring the game’s world for a couple of hours without any clear conclusions. Nevertheless I found the concept very original and, even though it was a bit too gloomy for my taste, I definitely enjoyed the few hours spent with it.
So, first of all, this is not a <<game>> in the real sense of the word: you are not there to fight enemies, get to the next level, solve hard puzzles, etc; it’s all about exploring a surrealist land, guided by some abstract thoughts and poems and the beautiful/creepy visual and sound effects. In short, it’s more like an interactive independent short film. It can be a delight for those who enjoy long walks in the woods, the slowness of old art movies and gothic poetry.
And last but not least, taken into consideration that it was awarded the Best Sound and Best Design an International Video Game Festival from Spain it’s definitely worth giving it a try!
Gabriel Knight 3 was the first game whose soundtrack fascinated me perhaps even more than the gameplay itself. Especially the main theme, which is brilliant, original and full of emotion! The music goes hand in hand with the profound atmosphere and story making it one of those games that you’ll never forget you played and experienced. In fact this is the perfect pick for my fist post here: it’s the game that showed me – a long, long time ago – that there can be much more to games besides the entertainment value!
PS: for those of you that played the game – here’s a short film shot in the real village Rennes le Chateau in the south of France http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jylqtzTFGv4 – just like in GK…!