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Mega64: Heavy Rain [ER/GO]
Apr 16th, 2011 by Dan

I don’t know how these guys aren’t thrown out of wherever they are the second they walk in. Another great video game parody

And remember: Sonic still sucks

Heavy Rain Impressions and Civ IV Update [Game Overview]
Feb 26th, 2010 by Dan

Heavy Rain

Despite relatively good reviews from most outlets, Heavy Rain is something of a negative topic among bloggers. I’ve seen most come down on it’s mechanics being anti-immersive and some just outright hate the game and the way it is played. I haven’t finished the thing myself yet, but I’m not quite in the hate camp yet. I played Quantic Dream’s last offering, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophesy in the States), so I knew precisely what I was getting and I’m enjoying that so far. It’s not perfect, but what game is?

The thing that I find most interesting is that there are almost no fail states in the game. Characters can die, lose challenges, get arrested, but nothing causes a game over. Game over comes when the game narrative is over, which is a great idea for what amounts to an interactive movie. I’ve strongly resisted the urge to restart chapters where I failed to do what was required of me two or three times now and only restarted once because a path that seemed like it was viable was invisible walled, causing me to fail. I thought that was unfair.

My biggest complaint has to do with the uncanny valley. So many of the models and shots in this game are perfect or near photo-realistic that the things that aren’t (mouths during dialogue, certain textures, cloth) just pull me waaaaay far out. The voice acting is also obviously European in places where it doesn’t make sense and they also make some strange errors about the way US cities work based on how European cities work.

I’m also not a fan of the tank-style control scheme, but what are you gonna do there? It is what it is.

Ethiopia

France is going down!

They really know how to put up an effective resistance.

My campaign against de Gaulle has hit a bit of an impasse as his city has too many defenders (four archers) while my supply lines are way too far to resupply my front. A war of attrition has broken out instead and I’ve started pillaging French resources (Iron was the first to go) to ensure that an effective offense could not be mounted against me while I await reinforcements. I’ve also got workers building roads toward the heart of my territory in an effort to speed along the troops. This bloody encounter won’t end for quite some time, I’m sure.

Khmer Empire

This game is definitely going in my favor.

Why does Constantinople got the works?

I seriously considered renaming it to Istanbul.

Justinian’s lackadaisical military attitude toward his neighbors to the south has turned into his undoing. Once My force of chariots was completed, we marched upon Constantinople, which was hilariously defended by a sole archer. The city fell easily to our assault and we moved onward to Thessalonica, but found our forces inadequate to take on the next city. We’ve also discovered a new city to the NE of Angkor Thom. They will follow Thessalonica once we’re able to reinforce our troops with horse archers.

Between a rock and a Holy place

Enemies to the West and NE will fall to our chariots and horse archers.

Another great development was the discovery of copper in Angkor Thom’s borders. We will have that mined soon and be ready to take on the world next.

Portugal

My most troublesome game has started to produce some fruits. The discovery of Masonry allowed me to quarry the stone resources nearby, which buoyed me to the completion of the Pyramids before my rivals, allowing me to adopt Hereditary Rule and grow my cities past size 4 or 5. I also discovered Iron Working, leading to a rather fortuitous event.

BWAHAHAHAHA!

Kublai Khan won't even know what hit him.

That’s right, I’ve now entered a metal age in Portugal and I will be using that to my advantage in my campaign against Kublai Khan. It will be some time before I’m ready for the next part of my offensive, but his foolish soldiers refuse to end the conflict, so he must die.

I also discovered sailing, which might seem strange, except that it allows commerce across rivers and oceans, opening up trade routes to both China and Persia.

The state of Portugal

It's not much of an emipre...yet.

Normally I would be loathe to such things as cultural crossover in Portuguese lands, but a direct link to Shanghai, which seems to have both the Hindu and Jewish religions swimming around there, might actually help out with culture spread in my cities. I’ve got to start building up my armies now if I want to stand a chance against Kublai Khan.

Misc. News [Game Overview]
May 22nd, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

King of Fighters XII, yeah that’s still coming out. I’m having a hard time caring without Mai :hint hint: See the episode below to catch the trailer.

Explosive

Remember last week when I told you all about that Giant Bomb achievements feature? Seems I’m not doing that well. I’ve only got ‘A’s in Mass Effect, Castle Crashers, and Lost Odyssey and a good chunk of my rare achievements are World of Warcraft achievements available only to those who were playing the game way back in the day. That being said, I do have a lot of Lost Odyssey and Mass Effect rare achievements and I think I’m going to ignore the DoA 4 rare since it’s probably the anti-achievement I got for losing tons of matches.

If nothing, this has inspired me to start hitting up those achievements harder. The easy targets would be more Mass Effect, Rock Band 2, and Lost Odyssey for the S-Rank. but I think that I will be playing Fallout 3 once I finish Persona 4 next, so it might have to wait a while. That’s a respectable endeavor too, since I only have a C in the game.

It’s raining, but is it heavy?

The oddly named Heavy Rain promises to bring mature, serious gaming to the PS3. I’ve heard much about the game’s merits, mostly from Shane Bettenhousen back when he was on the 1UP crew, but I’d yet to see any footage of the game in action. Lucky for me, GTTV, or Gametrailers TV, is featuring Heavy Rain in their latest episode:

(Sorry about some of the stupidity of the interview, I don’t write the immature questions)

As the episode mentions, Heavy Rain is developed by the same folks who brought us Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophesy back in the day. That game had a narrative that quickly fell apart near the end, but was an otherwise solid piece of storytelling. Heavy Rain has serious promise not to fall into that trap.

How cool is it that if one of your characters dies it becomes part of the story. You lose control of that person and the game continues. Seriously, all they have to do is not get stupid ridiculous like the end of Indigo Prophesy and they already have me as a customer.

Wii Secrets

Guess what? You can export Miis to the DS!

The previously hidden feature doesn’t do much for games that don’t support it, but it’s crazy to learn this little secret. Pressing A, B, 1, and then holding 2 will bring up the export dialog. Useless, but cool for the future.

Do me a Solid, will ya?

New Metal Gear game announcement at E3? Seems likely. The teaser site is apparently flashing [email protected]…Seems pretty self-evident there.

The Pigs are keeping us down!

First Capcom, then Koei, and now Square Enix have restricted all Japanese travel to E3 this year citing the H1N1, or swine flu, pandemic as the reason they are limiting their travel. Considering that Japan is actually facing quite the problem on its shores, you’d think that the execs would want to get out of the country sometime soon, but then again, I guess it’s the ethically responsible thing to do not to have them travel around. That being said, I’m sure the last thing Japan is doing in this case is worrying about US safety. All jokes aside, hopefully this swine flu pandemic slows down and goes away soon.

[Thanks to Kotaku and Gametrailers for the links]

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