Brad Gallaway's blog
By Brad Gallaway on September 17, 2009 - 9:32pm.
A while ago, I complained about demos that failed to impress, and wondered why it seemed so difficult for developers to accomplish what appears to be a fairly straightforward task.
At the end of the piece, I invited developers to write in and school me if I was off-base, and one actually did. Talented game dude and all-around good guy Andrew Rubino dropped me a line not too long after my blog ran, and this is what he had to say:
In summary, making a demo is harder than it seems, especially for some games. A demo for something like Gears of War would be relatively easy – have a couple combats and the player walks away with a good understanding of what the game is about. But a demo for something like Batman is harder, (something that I can see now that I’ve played the full game, which is awesome, btw). (More after the break)
By Brad Gallaway on September 16, 2009 - 12:24am.
A while ago, I received a request for a quote from a guy named Chris at a site called The Submission. Chris was putting together an article about replayability, and I was glad to contribute, although I don't quite think I said what he expected… In any event, I thought it was an interesting read when all was said and done.
My review of Cursed Mountain is nearly done and I've got another piece coming up for (believe it or not) Sudoku Ball Detective. In the meantime, I've started playing Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Wii, and I'm finding it to be a difficult experience. Difficult not in the sense that it's hard to play, but difficult in that part of me wants to praise it and admire it, while another part is deeply unsatisfied with its structure and content.
I definitely need to play more of it before making up my mind, but whichever way it goes, I have a feeling that this is going to be a difficult piece to write.
By Brad Gallaway on September 12, 2009 - 9:55pm.
Apologies to all my readers. I completely forgot to post a message here to let everyone know that I would be skipping updates for a few days due to my wife and I moving to a new place. My computer has been in a crate since I posted the last update about PAX Day Two, and with all of the hubbub and box-lifting, it didn't even occur to me that I had forgotten to say something until this afternoon. If you've been checking in and wondering WTF was going on, wonder no longer.
Anyway, although I haven't quite gotten my office space properly set up, the blogging will commence... Now!!
By Brad Gallaway on September 7, 2009 - 11:44pm.
Since this was my first year going to a conference as a family unit (mommy-daddy-baby) I decided to skip most of the presentations and after-hours events. My little boy was great on the exhibition floor, but I didn't want to push my luck… or his endurance. Since I don't have much to say on the other events that occurred (and boy, there were an absolute ton of them) here's my final rundown of the games I saw and played.
By Brad Gallaway on September 4, 2009 - 10:10pm.
Today was the first day of PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) 2009. I have to admit that I hadn't really been paying attention to many of the press materials prior to the show, and I was a little taken aback when the family unit and I arrived on-site to find that the place was an even larger, more spread-out roil of gamers than it was last year. I think the expo may be reaching its critical mass at the Washington State Trade & Convention Center, honestly. I certainly don't want it to leave, but I have a hard time imagining more people being able to cram into that space.
By Brad Gallaway on September 1, 2009 - 10:49pm.
Got my hands on a pre-release copy of Demon's Souls from Atlus today. It's certainly been one of my more anticipated titles, yet has remained a fairly large question mark. It's easy enough to get the gist, but as we all know, the devil is in the details… Fortunately, although I didn't have as much time to sink into it as I would have liked, the time I did have was extremely impressive—even moreso than I had anticipated after watching several videos available via the Internet.
By Brad Gallaway on August 27, 2009 - 10:35pm.
Just completed the new Tatooine DLC for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on Xbox 360. As my co-podcaster Tim Spaeth so eloquently put it, it's another piece of "stealth DLC" arriving with no forewarning or fanfare, much like Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station. However, unlike Pinnacle Station, this add-on is pretty sweet.
Starting out, the mission assumes that the player became the Emperor's new disciple at the end of The Force Unleashed proper. (This was only one of two possible endings.) Seeing main character Starkiller as a desiccated metallic husk consumed by the dark side was a bit of a shock, but still pretty cool, regardless.
By Brad Gallaway on August 25, 2009 - 8:30pm.
So, out of my ten-year career reviewing games professionally, I've only awarded two perfect "10" scores. I'm no math whiz, but if you average that out, I'm pretty sure that's one for every five years. My gist? I don't hand them out lightly.
One of the games to which I gave top marks was BioWare's Mass Effect. Encapsulating basically everything I love about videogames, action, and sci-fi all in one complete package, I blew through the game and devoured every last tasty morsel. Couldn't get enough. Although it's true all good things come to an end, thanks to the implementation of DLC, good things can keep going for a little longer. More Mass Effect? Yes, please.
By Brad Gallaway on August 24, 2009 - 9:56pm.
Started NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits on WiiWare yesterday. I only had time to get two or three levels into it, but I was really liking what I saw. The art style is very minimal and clean, and the mechanics are immediately accessible.
Basically, you take control of a winged girl and navigate puzzle-ish levels on a 2D plane. The jumping/flapping/gliding works well, and the formula is enriched by using the Wiimote to manipulate certain objects in the environment. In certain sections, you're controlling the girl with the left stick and a button, and moving stone blocks with the Wiimote pointer and a trigger. It's a little like the old "rub your stomach and pat your head" routine, but in a good way.
I look forward to spending more time with it.
By Brad Gallaway on August 22, 2009 - 10:54pm.
I had originally intended to write about Avalon Code tonight, but before I get to that I have to discuss Trials HD.
Anyway, never in a million years would I have predicted that I would have become as obsessed with this game as I have, but it's been dominating my life for the last few days.
Reminding me a lot of an updated Excitebike early on, I knocked out the first few clusters of levels pretty quickly. I didn't get gold medals on all of them, but I did well enough to satisfy my own personal sense of achievement. Moving up, the Hard level was indeed hard. When I got to Extreme, I couldn't believe it.
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