I’ve never been happier to be wrong about a game. Never.
I was all set and ready to write-off Destiny as a game I wasn’t going to like. Aside from its universe and setting, it seemed like most everything else coming out about the game was giving me reason to balk. Borderlands-style open world? MMO mechanics? “Deadlier” multiplayer? It was sounding like a mash-up of several kinds of gameplay I personally dislike; twitch-shooter meets pointless wandering, meets busywork and level-grinding. So it was only that last bit of curiosity that got me to sign up for the Alpha.I was fully expecting it to confirm my suspicions, but that’s…not what happened. Continue reading Destiny: How The Alpha Totally Changed My Mind→
Not long ago, I published a post discussing what I like and dislike about the Wii, and seeing as the next console of this particular generation that I bought was the XBox 360, it makes sense for Microsoft’s console to be the subject of the second post in this series. It’s a funny thing, though, how I got this console in the first place, because I am more of a PlayStation fan than an XBox fan, so it would stand to reason that I would have been much more inclined to purchase a console made by Sony over one made by Microsoft. Unfortunately, at the time, the PS3 was much too expensive, and it didn’t have any games I really cared for yet that weren’t already on the 360 (this was obviously before I became a “Ratchet and Clank” fan…). Since the games I wanted at that time were all on the 360, plus that console would also allow me to play any new “Halo” games, this became the next console I added to my gaming family.
And when I first started playing the 360, I was immediately impressed with the graphics, which were way ahead of the Wii, and even though the first two games I played were not as good as I was expecting (“Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts” and “Sonic the Hedgehog”, the 2006 version, shudder, gag, shiver), I did have a good time playing “Halo 3” (even though it was short) and “Final Fantasy XIII” (despite its flaws), the latter of which came with my console. (I even got this little waste of time thing on one end of the console that says “Final Fantasy XIII” on it. Jealous?) Plus, I was just pretty thrilled that this new XBox had “Final Fantasy” games as part of its library now, as during the last generation, only the PS2 had such an honor. My game collection was further improved with the addition of “Halo: Reach” and “Halo 4”, which were awesome, and I even had the pleasure of expanding my game library with over 40 Sega Genesis games on “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection”. In the end, I ended up really enjoying my 360, and I loved it way more than the original XBox. And now, anymore of my thoughts on this console will be listed below. (As usual, my main focus is on gaming, not the other features the 360 has to offer, and extra info was found on Wikipedia.) Continue reading The Duck Discusses the Wii, 360, and PS3 Generation: Part 2-360 Boxes→
That phrasing really isn’t appropriate. A more suiting question might be, why isn’t halo 3 so good? Halo 3 offers a stunning campaign with refreshing storytelling and a competitive yet ludicrously fun multiplayer element. That is what I salivate over when it comes to first-person shooters, and I think I speak for a large portion of the gaming community too.
My experience with Halo 3 is an uncommon one. I played the game when it was first popular like many, but not enough to allow myself to understand why it is so loved. However last year the game became available on Xbox Live’s “Games With Gold” and was free to download. Of course I jumped at the chance to replay the classic shooter. And within a week I had finished the campaign on the hardest difficulty. I dived into the Halo universe head first and I am so glad I did. I finally got to see why Master Chief is such a popular character, for his unfailing endurance and a healthy amounts of luck make Master Chief very easy to root for. The campaign was an epic finish to a lovingly constructed trilogy that blew me away from the first combat scenario to the adrenaline fuelled final driving mission. Continue reading UWG Top 10: #6 – Why is Halo 3 so Good?→
It’s a privilege and a burden to be given the task of evangelizing the Walking dead to the you, the good readers of United We Game. Unlike the other games on this list, the Walking Dead is not a trailblazer of ground breaking game play. The other, rightly vaunted, games on this list tend to stick in the memory for bringing new mechanics, control schemes and interactions with the game worlds to the fore.
The Walking Dead, however, uses a fairly basic graphic adventure game. The usual complex puzzles are stripped back to their very basics and take very little thought to complete. Graphics are low rent and the control scheme adequate at best.
This all pales into insignificance however when the true merits are considered. This is the game that finally treats the slowly ageing gaming population as the adults they’ve become. Gaming finally growing up but don’t worry there are still zombies in it.
Like all the best fiction, the zombies, become only a secondary adversary. This game isn’t about zombies, it’s about people, just like Jaws isn’t about the shark. Both these movie monsters serve only to drive the characters into situations where they can do nothing but show their true colours.
So for those don’t know, in this game you play Lee, a convicted murderer (whether or not he did or didn’t do it is left ambiguous for a good portion of the game) on his way to jail until an unexplained zombie outbreak kind of gets in the way. He happens upon a young girl called Clementine (Clem for short) and the pair quickly form a bond as he becomes her protector and she gives him a reason to survive. As mentioned above, there is a basic adventure game template but puzzles are straight forward. They are meant to keep you moving along, interested in the plot and serve as convenient time to wander your environment and talk to your ever evolving group of compatriots.
Nearly everything in this game is in place to serve as character development. How your comrades react to changing situations, the locations they’re in, the conversations they have, the looks on their faces and their reactions to your choices. Choices, indeed, this game gives you choices. Remember that claim I made earlier about this being an adult game? The moral choices you make are what defines how you play Lee but they are not the usual cartoonish moral choices that first appeared in Fable and Black and White. These are real characters and your choices mean consequences for them, suddenly the weight of the choices is real because each character has been subtly developed throughout the game.
The whole “Good” and “Evil” path was developed many years ago and has not really developed in games. It was seen as enough to let you be a devil or an angel. A few games began to iterate such as Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Introducing grey areas to your choices or making you really think about the outcomes of your decision. Too many games basically rely on there being two separate play throughs, right up to the modern day, a good one and a bad one. You do the good one because you’re a nice person and then do the evil one to see the difference.
The Walking Dead gives you choices but there is no right choice, no wrong choice. There’s just a choice, your choice. Sometimes it’s completely instinctual. Each choice has a timer, you can’t sit and ponder. Let me give you an example, in the first episode (the game is split into five episodes) you have to decide which of two characters to save. You’ve spent perhaps twenty minutes in total with these people, you have but a few minutes of conversation with each of them to base your decision on. There is no right choice. You’ll question your decision for the rest of the game. Therefore justifying the need for the dilemma to be there in the first place. There’s no point to having a choice if you decided at the start which of two options you are going to select each time.
This interaction between character and player agency is the true genius of the game. In reality, there is no branching path, your choices don’t effect the final outcome of the story but that doesn’t matter because this is your story. You are reacting to these characters because of how you feel about them.
This is why I champion this game, it may not be the genre defining entry that some other titles on this list are but it pushes forward the template for the whole medium. Now, characters can be more than electric ninjas and busty maidens and they can mean something real to us because they are flawed but striving for the best world they can. Players can make a choice that felt truly important. Conversations between characters can be for more than just plot development.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the fantastic voice acting and brilliant plot. They are all part of the package. Due to the episodic nature of the game, certain sections are stronger than others but each is an important development to the harrowing conclusion. Oh, and that conclusion. The less said for the uninitiated the better. Just experience it. If you haven’t played it then grab a copy and spend an evening with some complex, annoying, strong, terrified and brilliant people.
Not so long ago, in a room possibly far away and possibly not so much, depending on where you live, I mentally face-palmed myself. Because I had just realized that I had somehow managed to forget a particular moment in my gaming history where I just said to myself, “Wow, now that was one of the best video game moments ever.” Ever. And with such a statement being an undeniable cue that I should write an Unforgettable post about it, I did. See? It’s below. And the unforgettable moment I am talking about this time is…when the Flood first appear in “Halo”.
It is now time for the Duck’s second Listmas list. This one is kind of like my gaming Christmas list, listing all the gaming-related things I would like to see someday, whether they be things that can actually happen someday or are merely silly and impractical. Continue reading Merry Listmas: My Gaming Wish List→
A group of the bloggers here at “United We Game” have been sharing posts with each other on the topic of what’s scary in video games in celebration of October and Halloween. Behold the Duck’s thoughts on the topic, originally a guest post on “Cheeese Toastie and Video Games”.
This week I bring to you the second guest post of the month, again on the topic of horror. The blogger I’m featuring this week is the always entertaining and insightful Duck of gaming blog The Duck of Indeed and one of the admins of United We Game. Remember to check out both of those sites for more awesome gaming stuff! Also, remember to check out my post on his blog when it goes up. I’ll reblog it here over the weekend too. Without further ado, over to Duck!
This month, the bloggers over at “United We Game” have been participating in simul-posts most suited to the month that Halloween calls home, where we write guest posts on our fellow bloggers’, well, blogs on the topic of what’s scary in video games. Unlike many others, the Duck is not very familiar with the horror genre, but I still have…