Game Description: Return to witness the epic struggle between the spirit sword, Soul Calibur, and the cursed sword, Soul Edge, in Soul Calibur IV. Warriors from far reaches of the galaxy battle to control the powerful swords and use them for their own goals. Should these fighters succeed, they will face the ultimate judgment. The ongoing story continues with new revelations, exciting new gameplay features and stunning visuals. And perhaps most exciting of all, a character from the Star Wars universe will also make an appearance.
Life as a Disabled Gamer is a guest editorial at Game|Life by Andrew Monkelban, a gamer with cerebral palsy who plays one-handed. His piece covers a lot of important issues, but what most interested me was the kinds of games he likes and doesn't like to play, and why:
Up until recently, I've played predominately roleplaying games, with some focus on fighters. However, with the inclusion of online multi-player and other networking features in games and consoles, I've been able to try different titles and genres (i.e. Devil May Cry 4,Grand Theft Auto 4, and Mass Effect).
One example of a genre I can't play is shooters. Mass Effect is in this genre, and I had trouble playing it, due to the controls being too complicated for one-handed gaming. When you need to hold the controller a certain way, it causes problems when needing to reach some buttons.
Gamers are an incredibly diverse group of people, and I don't think most game developers or publishers (or indeed, most gamers, myself included) fully realize just how diverse we are. Can controllers with sensitive analog sticks and lots of little buttons be adapted for someone who needs a larger, simpler setup? Are there certain games and genres that gamers with certain impairments can't play because of the barriers involved? If so, are these barriers truly "just the way things are" or can we fix them? For instance, can we make audio cue-intensive survival horror games and first-person-shooters accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing gamers? (See the Doom 3closed-captioning/transcription mod).
By blogging about gaming and disability, I hope to examine these and other questions. And, of course, alert readers to some really cool technology and people.
Game Description: Spectral Force 3 delivers challenging strategy RPG gameplay, a classic fantasy story, and tons of character and item customization options. The ten kingdoms of the land, seizing the opportunity provided by OverlordJanus's death, are attempting to unify the continent under their own banners. This is the beginning of the Great Neverland War. In order to bolster their defenses, kingdoms have begun hiring mercenary units. As new members of the Norius Mercenaries, you and your friend Diaz are eager to prove yourselves. When the squad's commander Judo is mortally wounded in battle, the mantle of leadership is entrusted to you, and so the adventure begins.
Despite being a game that appears on a gaming console that can put out some amazing graphics and support gameplay that couldn't be done on older hardware, Spectral Force 3 looks like a game that could have been developed for the PlayStation 2 and features play mechanics that were "fresh and new" back in the days of the Sega Genesis. This mediocrity serves to make it only more ironic that the title was developed by Idea Factory—because this is a game that is woefully lacking when it comes to anything resembling an actual idea.
Game Description: Dark Sector is a third-person Action/Shooter that thrusts players into a sci-fi flavored nightmare scenario set in the post Cold War era. Playing in the role of Hayden Tenno, an unscrupulous covert operative sent on an assassination mission into Lasria – a fictional Eastern European city on the brink of ruin and rumored to be contaminated by a mysterious and frightening plague, Hayden takes out his mark, but before he can escape is attacked by an unknown enemy. Not killed outright as expected, he is instead infected with the virus that is causing the plague.
Having worked with Dan here at GameCritics for so long, sometimes it feels as though we think with the same brain. More often than not, we champion the same underdogs and see value in titles that others don't. However, there are rare occasions reminding me that as often as we agree, it's still a fact of life that we will occasionally take entirely different positions on things. Case in point: Dark Sector.
Celebrity culture and status seem to be at an all-time high in pop culture right now, and musicians are often seen in this sweeping spotlight of fame. Kids have always fantasized being pop stars; the likes of Disney keep pumping out fantasies of fame through musical vehicles like High School Musical, Hannah Montana and Camp Rock; and American Idol chugs along season after season. Harmonix rides that wave to produce the next vehicle in the musical fame fantasy-land: Rock Band.
Game Description: Rock Band is an all-new platform for gamers ready to take on the challenges of the rock & roll lifestyle. Instruments available to players are guitar, bass, drums or vocals as they hit the road as either an aspiring superstar solo act, or for the first time in game genre history take on the true collaborative and challenging nature of music as they form a band and jam together in multiplayer action from home or around the world. Either way players will need to master their stage presence through the various game modes and polish their rock chops via the unrivaled Rock Band song list if they hope to make it out of the garage, into the clubs and finally on to the main stage.
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