Author: Chi Kong Lui

Flower Review

The sublime power of Flower

Flower (PS3) Screenshot

HIGH One of the most satisfying and appropriate closing credits in a video game.

LOW Getting stuck for about 20 minutes and having no idea what to do next.

WTF Long credits made me wonder "How many people does it take to make a game this short?"

OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad Review

Zombies, bikinis and swords, oh my!

OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad Screenshot

 HIGH Going into "Rampage" mode and unleashing a serious can of whoop-ass on a horde of zombies while watching their blood and limbs splatter across the screen.

LOW Wasting too much time trying to execute a "Cool" 12-hit combo before realizing it's insanely impossible for gamers without super-human timing skills.

WTF Where does Aya find the time to wax between all the zombie slaying?

Breaking News: The PS3 was meant to play video games

So the PS3 isn't the best Blu-ray player on the market? I'm confused. Seriously though, Sony has a major branding problem when the head of Sony Computer Entertainment, Kaz Harai, makes headlines for reminding the public that the PS3 is actually a machine that allows people to control images on screen and have fun!

Here's what Harai said in an interview with Japanese business website NB Online (translated by Kotaku):

"The thing that I did when I took over last year was to boast the appeal of games themselves… The main premise of the PS3 is video games. That's the absolutely most important thing that we cannot lose sight of."

After this year's E3, I wrote a blog post about how Sony lacked a strong vision for the PS3 in the market and with this sound-bite from Harai, it doesn't look like much has changed since then. The problem may be that Sony as a whole, had too much invested and at stake with the PS3 to allow it to simply be a game machine. They needed it to be so much more, but now that the PS3 isn't the monster success that the PS2 was based off the same technology-from-the-future branding, Sony is backtracking and trying to put more emphasis on the games. Just what the heck has Sony been up to all these years?

Unfortunately, you only a one chance to make a first impression and then its an uphill battle to get people to think otherwise. Is it too late for the PS3?

Game Art: Using NES carts for a canvas

It's hard to imagine anyone using the iconic shape of the 8-bit NES cartridge for anything other than gaming, but artist sLip over at hush monkey studio has done just that by creating artwork in the shape of cartridges. He recently gave an interview over at the-minusworld.com (currently down due to all the traffic from digg.com).

On a more personal note, any reference to River City Ransom and other Technos games, instantly brings joy to my heart. Laughing

4 Games in one by hush monkey studios

Ars Technica tackles games with serious issues

Ars Technica closely examines some recent games that raise controversial themes and issues.

On Super Columbine Massacre RPG!:

Essentially, SCMRPG! is a psychological examination of Harris and Klebold. It attempts to put the player into their mindset, exploring how and why they came to do what they did. The subject matter itself questions what a game is meant to be. Though people normally play video games for sheer enjoyment, there is none to be found in SCMRPG! Instead, I found myself actively dreading entering the game world, unwilling to perform the actions necessary to progress.

On Metal Gear Solid 4:

In the world of MGS4, war has become a business, and PMCs are in the center of it. The new war economy means that the world is in a constant state of battle, locked in perpetual proxy wars fought for business purposes. But while this is an interesting concept to contemplate, unfortunately it is not covered with real depth.

As a Kojima game, MGS4 spends much more time tackling strange philosophical debates than it does real world issues like PMCs. And given the fact that the existence of these corporations only came to light recently, it's a topic that is at the forefront of many people's minds. The game is wonderful, but the opportunity for a serious look at the subject was squandered.