By Brad Gallaway on February 20, 2011 - 5:24pm.
I started up Lost in Shadow, a recently released art-house platformer on the Wii. (And wow, I can't remember the last time I turned the thing on.) Early impressions are good. The aesthetic and art design is appealing, although there is no question that the quality of the game shares more than a little in common with Fumito Ueda's ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since I'm a huge fan of both of those titles, but the similarity in tone and vibe is a bit eyebrow-raising.
By Dale Weir on February 17, 2011 - 1:59am.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was not a favorite game of mine—I played it for a few hours and put it down never to pick it up again—but I did always like the character Midna. Others have apparently played the game as well and become quite fond of Midna. They have gone so far enough as to create a Midna costume. As with such things, some are more successful than others, but no matter where you go, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better example of Midna cosplay than Kagomechann's.
By Sparky Clarkson on February 12, 2011 - 2:48pm.
A few days after the Christmas snowfall in Alabama, while we waited for the lasagna to finish cooking, we popped a copy of Disney Epic Mickey into the Wii and I played a bit of it. I got past the first, easy battle and entered the hallway, where a cutscene began. My mother, who mostly plays Snood, wanted to know why Mickey wasn't speaking. "He's always talked," she noted, and for almost anyone alive that's true. Mickey started talking in 1929, just a year after his famous appearance in the sound-synched Steamboat Willie. Sound has been a famous part of Mickey's history, so it's alienating, especially to non-gamers, to run into an essentially silent version of the Mouse in Epic Mickey.
By Sparky Clarkson on January 30, 2011 - 3:13pm.
I Need a Brighter, More Durable Paint
HIGH Painting in the two images of Oswald in the Dark Beauty throne room, a case where the art and mechanics work perfectly together.
LOW The final boss sequence (occupying almost the last quarter of the game) consists mostly of running around previously visited or horribly dull areas, popping zits on tentacles.
WTF The animatronic Goofy is incredibly creepy-looking.
By Guest Critic on January 8, 2011 - 9:51am.
Monkey Don't Trip
HIGH The romantic art design.
LOW Fall-behind-and-die chase segments.
WTF Andy Serkis' face, in cut-scenes all over the place.
By Sparky Clarkson on January 1, 2011 - 10:39am.
Ordered a Tapestry, Got a Quilt
HIGH The slurping giggle the Majin does when you're bringing him fruit.
LOW The tedious final dungeon, featuring repeated appearances by an irritating mid-boss.
WTF Quit telling me you're going to use the lightning and just use the freaking lightning, big guy!
By Brad Gallaway on December 30, 2010 - 5:30pm.
Needs an Upgrade
HIGH Breakneck parkour and neon everywhere.
LOW Battles with too many enemies are a jittery, frustrating mess.
WTF was the story about?
By Sparky Clarkson on December 23, 2010 - 8:00pm.
To categorize cinematic action games as intrinsically shallow or lacking in value would be the worst sort of genre-as-pejorative thinking. Their approach to game storytelling has produced many strengths, but one central characteristic of the genre is also a critical weakness. The great artistic limitations of cinematic action games come from their disinterest in the player as a creative force.
By Sparky Clarkson on December 21, 2010 - 12:39pm.
Uncharted represents not a new kind of game unto itself but an exemplary actualization of certain values in game design. Here I intend to put a name to those values and show how they relate to the characteristics of games in this group, which I think of as "Cinematic Action" games.
By Brad Gallaway on December 7, 2010 - 9:32am.
I scored a copy of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for cheap during Black Friday, and I've been putting time into it since then, albeit haphazardly. While it's true that my work schedule has been kind of erratic and disruptive to my game schedule (which clearly, is far more important) the truth of the matter in this case is that I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to push forward. The game is cute and I'm always interested in how developers implement team/partner mechanics in singleplayer titles, but Majin just isn't doing much for me.
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