Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nostalgia Alert

So I was thinking earlier about a game that I played a lot of back in the day, Tribes 2, a multiplayer fps that was released in 2001. In my opinion it was way ahead of it's time. It had a wide array vehicles and classes, but by far the best part was that every player had a jet pack. The freedom of movement and tactical options provided by the jetpacks made for a very entertaining experience. It also allowed the level designs to be fairly unique. Maps in Tribes take place in large outdoor landscapes with various bases and facilities scattered over the map. But, since everyone can fly for short periods, the bases and terrain can be vertically oriented with large mountains and multileveled bases that ignore such annoyances as stairs.
I could probably write a lot more about this, but I don't think I can do the experience justice. All I know is that I played this game all the time for more than a year and enjoyed every minute of it. I really wish I hadn't misplaced my CD, because I would love to reinstall it and see if there's anyone still playing. It's a shame the developer, Dynamix, was closed rather soon after it's release by those bastards at Sierra.
A third tribes game did come out, Tribes: Vengeance, but it just couldn't recapture the magic of the second one. The only hope now is Fallen Empires: Legion, a new game from GarageGames (founded by several former members of Dynamix), that is looking very Tribes-like. This interview makes it sound somewhat promising.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Backseat Gamer?

So while watching my brother play through Devil May Cry 4 I was faced with a recurring dilemma. How much assistance/advice do I provide him with as he occasionally struggles with parts of the game? This problem really comes up for me anytime I watch someone play a game that I've played before them. I think it really depends on the person. Over the years, me and my brother have watched each other play through a large number of games. Our understanding has generally been that we give liberal amounts of hints/tips to make each other's gaming experience smoother. I've steered him through many a game over the years and he's done the same for me. I think this understanding might derive from us often effectively co-oping our way through single player games in our younger years. We're used to and okay with helping each other.
For other people, hints are less appreciated in most cases. The most extreme case that I've experienced so far is from my roommate, who apparently hates any commentary on his playing of a game at all. This has made it tough for me at points to watch him play stuff. Nonetheless, I have to respect his wishes to solve a game totally on his own.
A subset of the giving advice aspect of games, is giving advice that is totally wrong. It is surprisingly entertaining to get an unexpected victim to catapult themselves off a level in order to get a secret item or holding down extra buttons to get a "buff". To get this to work you really need to be known as having very good and reliable videogame knowledge. Thankfully, I easily meet this qualification.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


So, in my quest to find something to play in the interim of me beating Xenosaga 3 on Saturday, and when smash brothers comes out (next Saturday) I've been thinking about all the games I've started and managed to, for one reason or another not finish. I think a list plus comments is most appropriate here.

  • Okami- I think I'm like halfway through. Great and beautiful game, but I always get distracted away from it.
  • Devil May Cry 4- Seriously, screw the level where you have to fight all the bosses for a third time.
  • The Darkness- Got it for cheap over break, it's fun, and I'll eventually get back to it.
  • Gun- Got it for five dollars last black friday, I think I've literally played like a half hour of it.
  • Street Fighter Alpha Anthology- Not really something you beat, but I should play more of it to get better than my current awful.
  • Robot Alchemic Drive- Incredibly entertaining mechanic, but the presentation makes it hard to play.
  • Final Fantasy XII- Reminds me too much of WoW.
  • Zack And Wiki- I really should play this, but for some reason have no desire to.
  • Metroid Prime 3- I clearly need the cluster missiles to proceed, but it refuses to tell me where to get them.
  • Mario Galaxy- There's still plenty of stars left even though I've technically beat it.
  • Call of Duty 4- I still want to beat more of this on veteran and play the online more.
  • Supreme Commander- I beat one of the campaigns, but I want to beat the others.