Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the skies...
Since the dawn of video games there have been top-down vertical shooters. We've grown up playing and loving them, and that love will probably never stop. Video games have obviously advanced quickly over the years with the introduction of 3D graphics, among other things, but one device of which you can be certain is that developers will continue making the same style of games we all loved all that long time ago: the kind where you're looking down on your character and wondering what bully or teacher made him into such a badass before going back to slaughtering aliens.
You mess with the dishwasher, you get the soap!
The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai came out back in 2009 to a slew of awards, focusing mainly on game design and development for its one-man army of a developer, James Silva. When it was announced that there'd be a sequel to that game, fans started trying to figure out where the small team could take the title in order to make it even more visceral, while still maintaining the same level of fun... and sheer madness. The time has finally come, and The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is finally among us. We find out if it surpasses its predecessor or simply sits in the shadow of its older brother.
The final episode in the Alien Breed series of games is finally here; it's been about a year since we saw the very first episode back when it was an Xbox LIVE Arcade exclusive game, and since then we've had Steam and PSN versions -- like Impact and Assault -- both of which have continued the snowballing awesome effect that the series has had since conception. Now we're getting to the end of the current storyline (who knows if Team 17 is planning another story line in the future) and we've recently gotten news that Alien Breed will be coming to retails stores in the near future as a complete package. The ball hasn't stopped rolling just yet.
When it gets announced that Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions is going to release another one of their quirky titles, people start to sit up and take notice. When it's also announced that this new title is about Russian Nesting Dolls, people start to settle back down a bit, not because they're not interested any more but because they can't see how anyone could make a game out of that. At least, that's how I felt. After a couple of failed attempts at trying to wrap my head around a possible concept, I settled on the fact that if anyone could make a fun, humorous, and highly entertaining game out of something that's a little vague and, if I'm honest, very weird, then Tim Schafer and his doubly fine staff could do it. Probably.
The ruthless dismemberment of materially-satisfied heroes, the crunch of elven bone under the weight of an oppressive iron gavel, and the cries issued forth by pertinent champions as they are subjected to the treacherous will of beholders are all sounds that make up the clockwork of a dungeon. Day-in and day-out, dungeon lords very rarely receive the attention that their adversarial adventurers do; rather than resort to anti-depressants, one particular dungeon lord has decided to strike out into the world and create the deadliest, most magnificent dungeons ever to grace a generic fantasy setting. Dungeons is the virtual representation of a tabletop Game Master's dream environment for quick dungeon-crawl assembly.
I'm not quite sure what was “nail'd” here, but it certainly wasn't game design.
When most people think about the first time they came across a racing game, they recall an arcade style racing game such as OutRun, Crazy Taxi, and Ridge Racer. Over the past couple of years this style of racer has taken a back seat to the much more realistic Gran Turismo, DiRT, or Forza Motorsport. These are all well and good for people that like to get down and dirty with the specifics of a car, look at the engine, and kick the tires before they head out on the track, but what about the people that don't really care? What about the people that just want to jump into the first thing with go-faster stripes and tear up the track with their friends? That's where nail'd comes in. Supposedly.
Magicka is a symphony of memes; an orchestra of particle effects; a... who are we kidding? Magicka far-and-away exceeds gaming precedents of humor, mechanics, and squishy mages by imploring users to remove themselves from the fantasy world. The game gives an overused acronym a face, and for the first time in Internet history, "lol" is entirely genuine; yes, Magicka firmly stifles the desire of role-play immersion, and instead replaces it with hysterical, arguably insane wizards on a quest to not die. The adventure to save the world is rapidly overwhelmed by an irrational desire to explode oneself in a fiery, electro-static-y jumble of magic -- and that's just the singleplayer. From the same publisher that brought us Warband and its expansion, Magicka has a bright future ahead of it.
You had me at “destructible environments.”
First Person Shooters are like the Marmite of the video game world: there's no middle-ground, they're both loved and hated equally. Where de_dust sends shivers down the spines of some gamers, it creates an unrivaled feeling of nostalgia in others; the trouble is, the people that love them are, more often than not, the weird obsessive type that plays nothing but the core FPS genre, no doubt screaming inaudible, random words down the microphone. Sometimes they even form sentences. Then there's the other camp: the people that don't play First Person Shooters and, for the most part, they're just as bad -- shunning the mere thought of playing an FPS because they “have no story” or “are only played by people who are 12 years old.” I used to fall into the latter category. Not because I thought I was above anyone, but because I'd had bad experiences in the past, especially when it came down to the multiplayer aspect that comes with most modern FPS's. With that in mind. I was unsure about Breach when I first saw it. It was a multiplayer FPS and there was no other option, I couldn't play the single player and then maybe play a few matches of the multiplayer if I felt like it. I either had to grit my teeth and survive the Xbox LIVE crowd or just continue on my way and never play it. I'm glad I chose to play it.
House, the TV show, was one of those things that totally blew my mind the first time I watched it. Firstly, British legend and TV icon Hugh Laurie was speaking in a fantastically convincing American accent, and secondly I understood most of the medical terminology that the characters were coming out with. Something that wasn't the case with most of the times I'd attempted to watch E.R. I fell in love with the TV show and the people that were involved. When I found out, probably about a year ago now, that there was a video game based on the show in development I was excited. If there was going to be a game linked in to the ethos of the show at all then it would have to be a point and click game, nothing else would have felt right, and with the game being developed for the Nintendo DS and PC it looked like that was what we were going to get.