A quick shout-out to the good gentlemen over at the GamerDork podcast. The latest installment is a fairly fascinating discussion with one of the members—a lifelong player who's decided to quit gaming cold turkey. I'm sure that anyone who's been a fan of videogames for any serious length of time will be able to relate to some of the issues that pop up, without a doubt. Click the link, give a listen, and let them know I sent you.
Not really newsworthy, but I figured I'd mention it anyway—I've been rocking an original "fatty" DS since it was released, and been quite happy with it. It feels better in my hands than newer versions do, and having the Game Boy Advance cart slot is a big plus for me. (Plus, it still has the fancy Miyamoto signature stickers I got at E3 several years ago, so there's a good bit of nostalgia attached to it as well.)
Nintendo builds these things sturdier than most automakers build cars, and I've never had a complaint about it. Unfortunately, I think it's time to put this thing out to pasture. Over the last month or so, I've noticed that the battery isn't able to keep a charge longer than two or three hours, and that's not nearly long enough on days when I take it with me out and about. Cue sadface.
I had already been making vague plans to pick up a 3DS, but I guess this really is the clincher. Thanks for the memories, old friend… it's been grand.
Still loving Etrian Odyssey 3.
Although I wouldn't say I'm a huge Splinter Cell fan, I have played every game in the series and more or less enjoyed them. I've definitely had my issues with the formula here and there, but I do like playing a good Stealth game once in a while, and there really aren't that many options.
Now, there are even less.
I realize I'm coming late to the party on this one, but I'm stunned at how much Ubisoft has changed in Conviction. I don't even see it as being a stealth game anymore, and it has very little in common with the previous adventures of Sam Fisher apart from the title.
Rather than being sneaky and patient, the game puts raging-bull emphasis on combat and killing. The new "mark and eliminate" and "last known position" features are nice, but they shouldn't be the backbone of the play experience. I've tried to sneak through levels without being seen and without killing anyone a few times, and failed consistently. When it's easier to toss grenades and dive for cover while headshotting goons than it is to disappear into the shadows, that's a pretty big Stealth game fail. Disappointing, to say the least.
I'm not done with the game yet, but I don't need to see credits roll to know that this is not at all the direction I would have taken with the series, and it's pretty disheartening to see that most of what made the game what it was to get stripped out in favor of yet another fairly straightforward action title.
If it was some other generic action game I wouldn't have a problem—hell, I might even praise it—but Splinter Cell is a franchise built on stealth, and stealth is not what's going on here.
Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway