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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonelybob/2491088865/
Image by LonelyBob: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonelybob/2491088865/

“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??

Continue reading Being Okay With Being Outmoded

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.
Continue reading The Silent Protagonist

The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 2-The Box

Hello, the Duck is back to discuss the next console of the GCN, XBox, and PS2 generation, the hefty, yet powerful XBox.  This console was the very first video game console made by Microsoft and so the brand is a relative newcomer.  While the console, by virtue of its newness, did not feature classic series that had been around for a while like other consoles, it still gained quite a following, probably helped greatly by the fact that it had the extremely popular “Halo” series.  And now I present you with a little list of pros and cons of the XBox.  (I used Wikipedia for a little extra information.) Continue reading The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 2-The Box

Things are going to be so different 30 years from now…or are they?

Image by tind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tind/7533681980/sizes/c/in/photostream/
Image by tind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tind/7533681980/

Following up on my previous post in which I looked back thirty years into the gaming past, for this post I thought I’d look forward thirty years to answer the very opinionated and speculative question: “What will video games be like in 2033?” And rather than think all fantasy and pie-in-the-sky as they did with prognosticating in the 1950s, this will be a more practical, less fantastical approach — mainly because I’m cynical and bad at making stuff up, and, probably, because I’m angry that I’m going to be really old in 2033. Anyway…indulge me as I set aside my sardonic tendencies and take a brief look at what’s possibly in store for video games.

Continue reading Things are going to be so different 30 years from now…or are they?

Stage Complete: City Escape

Above screen shot authored by Flickr userSpicaGames.
Above screen shot authored by Flickr user
SpicaGames.

While the quality and stature of a game series is defined by the quality of the games that that comprise it, its individual levels or often just one level from one game that embody its ideals and goals. One would think that a level’s impact wouldn’t extend outside its own game, but not necessarily. Consider, games in a consistent series can vary greatly in terms of characters, stories, and settings, but what ties them all together is their gameplay; gameplay that is more than just partly defined by consistent level design. Therefore, we can have levels that act as paradigms of a series, stages that capture the essence of a series so well that they can become synonymous with the series as a whole. There are many levels that have been elevated to this status over the years, but today we’ll focus on “City Escape” from Sonic Adventure 2, which best characterizes what Sonic the Hedgehog was supposed to be after its transition into 3D.
Continue reading Stage Complete: City Escape

The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 1-The Cubester

Hello, everyone.  I see you’ve come to read the Duck’s very first post on United We Game.  Well, for my first post, I thought I would start by discussing the pros and cons of a very nice generation of consoles, the time period that gave us Nintendo’s GameCube, Sony’s un-creatively named PlayStation 2, and Microsoft’s first video game console, the XBox.  Each console has good and bad qualities, and I felt like going over them, in three parts, with one post per console.

Just so you know, my favorite of all three is my darling PS2.  It is a wonderful console, and I’ve spent countless hours playing its delightful games, while it watched me gleefully with its little green and blue lights.  So you may think parts of these posts are a bit biased towards the PS2, but I assure you, dear readers, they are not.  Because my viewpoints aren’t opinions.  They’re facts.  Facts can’t be biased. Continue reading The Duck Discusses the GCN, PS2, and XBox Generation: Part 1-The Cubester