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Brad Gallaway's blog

Critter Crunch, Half-Minute Hero and Demonic tendencies

Demon's Souls Screenshot

One last note: I'm almost done with my start-over-from-scratch replay of Demon's Souls, and after taking a very close look at the Tendency system, I'm basically convinced that it's pretty much the only false step that From made.

The first time I played the game, I went through it without consulting any FAQs and just immersed myself in the overall experience. It was extremely rewarding and I'm glad I did it that way, but I was a little put off after credits rolled to find that I had missed several things because my gameplay style kept me "in the middle".

PlayStation Portable downloading needs work, Weapon of Choice gets reduced

Sony PlayStation Portable PSP Screenshot

I finally got around to downloading my first title direct-to-PSP. Considering how smoothly it went, I'd have to say that Sony was completely smoking drugs when they decided to come up with the Go. Although I performed the process on one of the original UMD-compatible models, if it's even remotely analogous, then their new download-only handheld is sunk before it's even started.

Scribblenauts is weak and Layton's done

Scribblenauts Art

I finally got my hands on Scribblenauts and I have to say, I'm quite divided on it.

On the one hand, it's an absolutely fantastic idea. Write any word and the game will produce that object to be placed at the player's discretion anywhere in the level. I mean, how brilliant is that? Need a flyswatter? Write FLYSWATTER and you've got one. Want to summon the dread god Cthulhu? You can do that too, and he actually shows up. Major brownie points there. The downside to the game is that I think the developers kind of bit off more than they can chew, especially in regard to the level of production that's possible on the DS.

Demon's Souls... complete!

Demon's Souls Screenshot

For people who haven't played it yet or might not really care: It's a fantastic, superbly-designed game that has officially knocked my socks off. One of the best PS3 titles available, and at this point, my Game of the Year.

For those who have played it or who do care: My character was a level 80 Temple Knight focusing on Attack and Defense for melee combat. My endgame weapons were a +7 Halberd, a +4 Dragon Sword, and a Lava Bow. All told, it took me about 35 hours, give or take. Too bad there wasn't a death counter, I would've been curious to see how many times I was revived.

Going on my 4th Xbox 360!—oh, and more Demon's Souls

Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death (RROD)

My 360 RROD'd yesterday, bringing my grand total to three Microsoft console deaths. Even the PS1 (known for its failures in the early models) never died as often as the 360, making it the most fail-prone console in history. I mean, going through four units in one generation? Come on. The result? No 360 titles for my son while he's here and my review schedule just went out the window.

Demon's Souls launch announcement and The Deepening

Demon's Souls Screenshot

The impending October 6 launch date of Demon’s Souls is nearly upon us, but the good people at Atlus sent along a message that they wanted me to share—As a heads-up to everyone who intends to purchase the game, if you somehow manage to secure a copy before the official release, be aware that the US servers WILL NOT BE ACTIVE until October 6.

It seems fairly common for certain brick-and-mortar stores to get a jump on their competitors by breaking street dates, but in the case of Demon’s Souls, there's really no purpose to getting a copy before everyone else. In addition to having other real-life players join your game (as blue or black phantoms) the servers are required to take advantage of the "blood stain" replays that show you where other real players have died, as well as the message system which allows players to etch helpful hints and bits of information for others in the same level.

Demon's Souls (still), Mirror's Edge, and Professor Layton

Demon's Souls Screenshot

Over 30 hours into Demon’s Souls and 2/5 of the worlds completely cleared… suffice it to say that this game is having no difficulty whatsoever keeping my attention, and I continue to be impressed with the levels, the design, the extra elements, the hidden stuff—pretty much everything. It's also worth noting that this game, pound for pound, has more genuine OMFG moments than anything else I've played in recent memory.

Interview with Drew Rechner, Community Liaison for Section 8

A while ago, my review of the recently-released MMO FPS Section 8 went live. To my surprise, I actually ended up having a very enjoyable time with it, despite not being a fan of the genre.

Although the servers have been full of players every time I've gone online, I don't get the sense that there is a very high level of awareness of this title in the games community—especially in the wake of another recently-released steamroller of an FPS that's had everyone buzzing over the last week. So, as my way of saying "thanks" for making my time reviewing the title worthwhile, I decided to do a follow-up interview as my small effort to help raise Section 8's profile.

Interview with Jim Deal of Airtight Games on... Dark Void

Interview with Jim Deal of Airtight Games

At the most recent PAX show, I was fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with a game I had been greatly anticipating: Dark Void from Washington's own Airtight Games.

Produced in conjunction with Capcom, Dark Void is an adventure game featuring aliens and jetpacks inside the Bermuda triangle. With tight transitions between air and land on top of clever vertical combat, this title is definitely one to watch—it also doesn't hurt that the people behind it are some of the same folks who worked on one of my favorite Xbox titles, Crimson Skies.

Airtight Games' president and creative director Jim Deal was kind enough to spend a few moments talking with me about this upcoming title and I'm quite glad to share what he had to say.

Demon's still has my soul

Demon's Souls Screenshot

I had to put Demon's Souls aside for while to cover a couple of must-review titles, but I decided that I was going to take a break from reviewing for the weekend and just play for fun. Popping it back in my PS3, I was instantly sucked back in. Taking that short time away, I had forgotten how ridiculously awesome it is. The atmosphere, the feeling of exploration… everything. I totally love this game. That's not to say the game is flawless, though—it suffers from the same issue so common to many RPGs in that the developers want you to choose the type of character you play before you really know what your preferred play style will be.

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