Top 5 Most-Memorable Sly Cooper Bosses

Image by Flickr user: theogeo
Image by Flickr user: theogeo

The Sly Cooper series introduced us to quite a few colorful enemies during its tenure on the PS2. From pirate frogs to clockwork birds, if you can think of an unlikely combination of animal-criminal, you’ve probably seen it while playing one of the Sly Cooper games. With such a arrangement of baddies, you’re bound to have some standouts, characters so out there or cool that you can’t help but remember them.
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Comparing “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet and Clank”: Two Series Everyone Must Play

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about two of my favorite series, both of which are often compared to each other, the PlayStation exclusive series “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet and Clank”.  From what I can tell, these series always seem to be related to each other, likely because their developers, Naughty Dog and Insomniac respectively, have worked with each other throughout the years.  (Ever heard of the games combining “Crash Bandicoot” and “Spyro the Dragon”?)  I absolutely adore both of these series, as they are a lot of fun, while also combining great characters and interesting stories, along with absolutely fantastic voice acting, and I thought I’d discuss how these two series compare to each other in several different categories.  But first, a quick summary of each series.

The “Jak and Daxter” series started off as a fantasy platformer in “The Precursor Legacy”.  Here we meet our heroes, Jak and Daxter.  The game shows how Daxter, originally a bucktoothed human, fell into Dark Eco and got turned into an ottsel (half otter, half weasel).  Then, it follows their adventures to try to get Dax turned back to normal.  It was a great game, consisting of exploring interesting locations, meeting funny characters, and collecting a bunch of Precursor Orbs and Power Cells to progress through the huge, open world of the game.  The game emphasized the use of Eco, a substance Jak can channel, that could do different things depending on the color.  Then, the series drastically changed in “Jak II”, with our heroes going a couple hundred years into the future.  Ever since, the series has become more serious and dark, while still retaining a great sense of humor.  There is more emphasis on guns and less on Eco, though Light and Dark Eco now play greater roles in the story. Continue reading Comparing “Jak and Daxter” and “Ratchet and Clank”: Two Series Everyone Must Play

The Wiimote and Me: An Onerous Ode

Image by yum9me:
Image by yum9me:

I hate the Wiimote.

I know people have been saying it for several years, but now I’m saying it. I hate the Wiimote. I don’t hate the Wii, just the stupid remote and nunchuck controllers. I can’t stand them. And only just recently, I caved. Finally. I bought a Classic Controller. And it is good. Oh, so, very good. Now, I still have and will regularly use my favorite, purple Gamecube controller, but not all games accept it. Heck, not all games accept the Classic Controller, but many do, and it has drastically changed my feelings about our poor, neglected Wii.

I didn’t always feel this way, about the Wiimote that is.

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The “Triple A” Fun Factor

Image By Flickr User: JBLivin
Image By Flickr User: JBLivin

Big budget “Triple A” video games are more complex and immersive than ever before. It’s gotten to the point that when you buy a major title these days, you’re buying more of an experience rather than just a game. That’s really become the point hasn’t it? Major developers aren’t trying to make just games anymore; they’re trying to create fully realized experiences. The common emphasis seems to have shifted from gameplay to everything else, elements like graphics, sound, and story. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, after all I love an attractive game with a good story just as much as everyone else, it’s just that at the end of the day a game is meant to be played. So here’s the question: are modern games made to be fun in the same way that old-school games were made to be fun?
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The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 3-The Second Station of Play

And now we come to part three of my posts on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and XBox generation of consoles.  I saved my favorite one for last, the PS2.  Not only is it my favorite console of that generation, but it is my favorite console of all time.  This was actually my very first non-Nintendo console, and the only thing I regret is not buying it sooner.  The PS2 has some of my favorite series, including “Jak and Daxter”, “Kingdom Hearts”, and “Ratchet and Clank”, along with “Final Fantasy” (which is not my top favorite, but I still like it a great deal, as well).  This console seemed to just have a great collection of really fun, really unique games, and I fell in love with it pretty fast.  Now I shall list the very many pros and the very few cons (if there are any) of the PS2. Continue reading The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 3-The Second Station of Play

Being Okay With Being Outmoded

Image by LonelyBob:
Image by LonelyBob:

“Have you played Bioshock Infinite?” my co-worker excitedly asked me the other day.

“No, not yet.” I responded, “It looks great, though I’ve never played a Bioshock game.”

He looked confused. “You’ve…what?! They’re great games, well, maybe not the second one…but you should really give them a shot, especially Infinite.”

Yeah, well…” my gaze turned to the floor, “maybe someday.”

Later that day, at my computer, I sat and stared at a list of upcoming game releases, and I sighed. Some were games that knew I had to play; others I knew I’d pass on. I moved to another site to read a few current games reviews, and I sighed again.

Will I ever play these games, I wonder? Maybe someday…some…day…[SIGH]

Argh! My melancholy turned to sudden anger. Why did this even bother me??

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The Silent Protagonist

Silent Protagonist Promotional Image-forUWGExtended

As gamers we’ve all, at one point or another, come across this type of character. They’re often stoic and mysterious, mostly keeping their thoughts and opinions to themselves; in fact you don’t recall them saying much of anything at all even though the NPC’s react as if they had. This is the silent protagonist, a character ranging from a blank slate to one with their own back story but whose words and motivations are determined by the player. It’s a character type that’s existed ever since gaming’s inception, something that’s successfully spawned several iconic, well known characters like “Gordon Freeman” (Half-Life), the “Vault-Dweller” (Fallout), “Link” (Legend of Zelda), and until recently “Samus Aran” (Metroid). Most of us recognize this type of character when we see them, but do we really know what they are? Do we understand the reason for their silence? Haven’t we all wondered what the game would be like if they were able to speak? Interesting questions to be sure, so let’s take a look under the hood and see what makes these characters tick.
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