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Prince of Persia Second Opinion

"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courageto move in the opposite direction." —Albert Einstein

Prince of Persia Screenshot

HIGH Effortlessly running, jumping, and climbing across the entire game world.

LOW Lightseed collection gets extremely monotonous.

WTF The final "battle" where your opponent is apparently a drunk Pokémon on steroids.

Gaming pet peeves

Metal Gear Solid 4

In an effort to prepare for Metal Gear Solid 4, I've recently been playing some of the earlier Metal Gear Solid games. And while it's been really fun for the most part, it's also brought to mind some of my gaming pet peeves, not just related to MGS but to games in general.

What triggered this for me was being reminded that MGS doesn't allow the player to pause during cut scenes. I was at the end of MGS2 when I suddenly found the need to pause the game. I think I knew at that point that I couldn't actually pause, but I had no choice but to try. So I hit the start button and suddenly the game fast forwarded to another section, apparently bypassing a whole bunch of end-game exposition. As a result, I had to reset the game, load my most recent save, and fight a whole bunch of enemies and go through a long boss fight just to get back to the cut scene that I missed. It was absolutely maddening, and it baffles me that the developers wouldn't include such an obvious feature, or why any developer wouldn't include that feature, especially in a game that is so heavy in cut scenes.

Has LittleBigPlanet lived up to its promises?

LittleBigPlanet

Having received LittleBigPlanet as a Christmas gift from my dad, I've finally been able to experience the game that many have been touting as the first must-own PS3 title. Now that I've sunk a significant amount of time into Media Molecule's little opus, I thought I'd share some of my impressions.

First and foremost, LittleBigPlanet is a thoroughly charming, feel-good game. It's almost impossible not feel at least somewhat upbeat while jumping around with the cute sack people. The snappy soundtrack, the funny expressions of the sack folk, the playful toy box-style aesthetic, the humorous tutorials, everything comes together to form a remarkably charming package.

Game critics: Are you experienced?

Street Fighter II - Stephen Totilo's nemesis

Two articles touch on the subject of experience behind a game critic. The most recent example is MTV's Stephen Totilo not being adept at basic moves for Street Fighter II, a heralded and historically important game series.

As video games mature, so does its criticism. Totilo and N'Gai Croal bring a certain air of legitimacy in the mainstream media that many other writers in the industry lack.

However to maintain a level of balance and fairness, a critic needs to be very well rounded.

Doing a hurricane kick in Street Fighter is as basic for a gamer as what a film lover would do in citing a movie like Annie Hall or Citizen Kane.

Sure a gamer need not necessarily need to grow up in that era, or be heavily involved in the culture.

But imagine if a movie critic knew nothing of Annie Hall? Or Raging Bull? Imagine a videogame critic not even knowing how to do the most basic move in fighting games?
As long as the critic is forthcoming about it, I don't think any credibility would be lost.

However, and more importantly, I would know who to trust less.

Prince of Persia Art Gallery

Prince of Persia Review

Beauty plunged into darkness

Prince of Persia

HIGH The beautiful art style and incredible palate of color.

LOW Simplistic gameplay that fails to provide a challenge.

WTF Why is Elika encumbering this game?

BioShock Third Opinion

"There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it." -Alfred Hitchcock

BioShock

HIGH Wonderful art style & environment.

LOW Game feels too easy at points.

WTF I didn't realize so many people in the 50s kept audio diaries and left them laying around in random boxes, air vents, and dead bodies.

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