I agree with Dale that simplicity in Slugfest is for the most part, a good thing. I really enjoyed the easily comprehensible startup menus and create-a-player features. It was quite refreshing especially after wading through All-Star Baseball 2000's (ASB 2000) confusing and often needlessly complicated menu interface (keep in mind this says nothing of the actual gameplay). So initially, Slugfest comes off being very approachable and accessible.
So you can imagine my disappointment to find that as soon as I started playing, the game would reveal its fatal flaw. For me, it boiled down to one simple thing: the camera angles. While Dale pointed it out as a flaw, he didn't address it with the appropriate degree of severity. The camera angles in Slugfest destroyed this game. Rather then choosing intuitive angles that would be helpful and assist players, the developers opted for quirky and more dynamic shots that do absolutely nothing for the gameplay. The worst thing about the angles is how it breaks the continuity of the game. After the ball comes off the bat, not only is there the tiniest fraction of a second delay, but the camera proceeds to move to a uncomfortably high elevation. When the ball gets thrown in from the outfield and there's a play at the base, again there is a misguided view change to give us a close-up of the play. The problem is that it often feels like the computer is cheating on the play because we don't see the ball being thrown in on one continuous shot. These little things may seem insignificant, but it makes all the difference when you consider that these moments occur during the most crucial points in a game. Slugfest can hit proverbial home runs in the graphics, sound, and control department, but if something "trivial" like the camera angles can't be counted on to sacrifice and advance the bases when it needs to, it's a weakness that's going to hurt the team when it counts the most.
Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.
Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Latest posts by Chi Kong Lui (see all)
- Fraud Alert: Pete Smith, Content Producer - September 9, 2014
- Observations from PAX East 2012: What’s old is new again - April 12, 2012
- Observations from PAX East 2012: Are video game gimmicks finally maturing? - April 11, 2012