If you read this blog even occasionally, then you probably know that I'm not much of a PC gamer. However, I do make the occasional exception for certain titles. This evening, one of those special cases found its way into my hardware: VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh.
Although I had planned on doing more in-depth coverage of the game tonight, after some consideration I decided to hold off until I'm completely done. However, I will say that it's a pretty superb little title, and I'm enjoying the heck out of it.
Although it's been a tough job lately between the rush of fourth quarter and the sheer number of Indie games released every week, keeping up with one of the lesser-known segments of Microsoft's downloadable content certainly pays off. My most recent Indie addiction? Armor Valley, from Protégé Production.
Getting pretty close to the 30-hour mark and I'm still enjoying the game quite a bit. It's probably the most pleasant Final Fantasy experience I've had since Final Fantasy X, but as the game goes on, more and more of its warts are starting to show.
The other day, I joked with a friend that I was doing a "60-hour speed run" ofFinal Fantasy XII by following the story and ignoring all of the side quests. I'm not a fan of grinding at all, and RPGs which keep themselves playable when the person doing the playing is simply following the critical path are my favorite sorts. In total, I haven't done more than an hour or so of "grinding" enemies (and that done from my own free will) and I'm having no issues so far, so I'm kind of wondering where the complaints are coming from. Maybe it becomes more of an issue further into the game, but at the point I'm at, it just hasn't been a concern.
After the madness of the fourth quarter, I have a lull in the review schedule right now. It's nice to not be reviewing something for a change, so I'm plowing ahead with Final Fantasy XII. I'm about fifteen-ish hours into the adventure and still loving it. Loving it a heck of a lot more than I expected, actually.
It's that time of year again. A heartfelt Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings. I'm looking forward to a new year that will be better than the last, and I hope the same is true for you as well—and again, thanks for coming by.
(…And by the way, is it just me or does it feel completely bizarre to even imagine writing "2010" in any context other than a futuristic science fiction story?)
I've been spending the last few days hopping back and forth between tons of different games, not settling on any one for long. Brace for impact.
If you ask me, 2009 was a rather exceptional year for video games. Although there was no one, single game that dominated the entire industry, there were so many titles of such stellar quality that players of every persuasion had plenty of things to choose from. As a critic, I found that the end of the year was especially thick with games that required my attention; I usually have things well in hand by the time December starts, but this year I constantly had three, four, or five top-tier titles (besides all of the B-listers) that I needed to get to, and it was a race against time to make sure that everything that deserved a look got one.
After completing Brütal Legend, there were several pictures of the development team on screen as the credits rolled. The people on view all looked like nice, upstanding, hard-working citizens of the game dev community. As these snapshots appeared, I felt an intense wave of something approximating some kind of bizarre guilt because actually having faces attached to the game made Brütal Legend's failure somehow more tangible. More terrible.
Tim Schafer is a brilliant guy and I have tons of respect for him, but he's just been off lately. I don't care what anybody says, Psychonauts was a big bag of fail to me, and although Brütal Legend is better, it's still not anywhere near what it could've been. In fact, I'm not even really sure what it is.
Getting close to wrapping up my second time through Mass Effect, and since I almost never replay games, it's been an interesting experience. A friend asked me today how it was going through again, and to be perfectly honest, it wasn't nearly as fun as it was the first time. Don't get me wrong—I'm not saying that there's anything the matter with the game itself, it's more about the kind of player that I am.
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