Started Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood on PlayStation 3 tonight. I was having a little trouble keeping my eyes open so I didn't play past the first two chapters. However, it definitely seems better than the first Call of Juarez so far. It's still not a graphic powerhouse, but the visuals have improved and I'm always a sucker for a Western (or Western-ish) setting.
Just from the description Lair sounds like a can't-miss, but it was savaged in the reviews at the time for a number of reason—one of the primary ones was that control of the dragon was linked directly to the motion of the Sixaxis instead of a more traditional setup. I tried it briefly and found the controls as atrocious as most said, so I quickly moved onto other things. However, I was aware that Factor 5 had produced a download patch that gives players the options for standard flight controls using the sticks, and considering that I needed a third game to get one free, I was willing to give it another chance.
If you've been reading this blog then you will know that I was quite impressed with the recent Bionic Commando game, updated and re-imagined by Swedish developer GRIN. So impressed, in fact, that I felt motivated to track down someone on the development team and ask them a few questions about their superb effort.
Thankfully, Bionic Commando producer Dan Eriksson was quite willing to chat with me for a bit about the work involved in reinventing such a classic game.
About a month ago, I started getting a serious open-world jones, and being as tight with my discretionary spending as I am, it wasn't really an option to buy both Prototype and inFamous brand-new. Naturally, since both games are basically the same thing in large part, the feverish comparisons began. Which one had more of what I want? Prototype had some killer videos out on the Internet to show the wide range of abilities, but I had total faith in Sucker Punch and have been a fan of theirs since the beginning.
Have I mentioned yet that I love GRIN's Bionic Commando? Love. It.
If you haven't given it a spin yet, don't be scared off by the overly-negative reviews and see what it's got to offer. Despite finishing it a few days ago, I still can't get it out of my head. And the ending? Although it's been categorized as completely random and nonsensical, I didn't find that to be true at all… I'm not going to spoil it, but I thought it was pretty amazing for a few reasons.
Expectations are an important issue to deal with for anyone, but doubly so for a critic. After all, we are supposed to be "neutral and unbiased" when we evaluate, right? Of course, it's absolutely impossible to be without some sort of penchant or leaning—we wouldn't be human, otherwise. But, although it's not realistic to sit down with a game and approach it as a completely blank slate, managing expectations is something that could, and should be done.
Take, for example, GRIN's reimagining of Bionic Commando.
Today brought the Nintendo and Sony press conferences. I haven't had a lot of time to digest the total of what's been announced today between these briefs and the wealth of other information floating around the intarwebz right now, but after keeping up with as many tweets as I could and scanning the online presentations, here are some quick takes:
With the recent birth of my son, Whittaker, I decided to opt out of E3 this year in order to stay home and get some quality time in with the family. I don't regret my decision at all, but it does mean that I've been glued to Twitter all day, and the updates never really stopped coming. Kudos to everyone who tweeted about what they saw, and also to the sites who've been covering it in standard Internet fashion. While events are still unfolding, here are a few quick impressions based on what trickled downstream from the Microsoft press brief today…
After getting about 2/3rds of the way through inFamous, if not more, I basically wrote my entire review in about forty minutes.
I'm going to keep pushing forward and finish it off, but I'd be very surprised if anything in this last section really changes my opinion.
Besides inFamous, I'm putting the finishing touches on my upcoming Crimson Gem Saga review, I've got a few more entries to do for my "Best of Community" feature, and as if all that wasn't enough, I've been toying with the idea of doing the main review for Fallout 3.
So, I told myself I wasn't going to plunk the money down after playing the InFamous demo on the PlayStation Network, but I did. It's just that I've been playing so many RPGs lately that I was starting to burn out of gaming altogether, and I definitely needed something action-oriented to get the juices flowing again. I was weak, I admit it.
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