Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Resistance 3 and new Ratchet & Clank


Insomniac Games have announced their new Resistance and Ratchet and Clank games. The latter is not something I want to see as much, but just check out this teaser trailer for Resistance 3. This is THE most stylish video game trailer I’ve seen in my life. Maybe I should abandon that Heavy Rain shit and finally go for Resistance 2.

That is, not to say that Heavy Rain is a bad game, quite the contrary. My Samsung TV screen is broken anyway at the moment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

uDraw

Wii-uDraw-GameTablet
No one is surprised that Kinect is hitting stores in November. Namely—4th in the U.S. and 10th in Europe. I’m not gonna say how useless and marketing-based that controller is—you already know all about it and even if you don’t, just google it.

The thing I’d like to talk about is new controllers from third-party devs. For example, check out this uDraw video from Gamescom. This device is made by THQ.


It comes with a few games and applications, which are all drawing-based. This device will be selling at $69.99 and new games for it will be available for $29.99. And of course, it will hit retail “just in time for the holiday season.”

I am really interested how this device will affect falling Wii sales. The whole “I’m gonna make teh controller you ain’t gonna beat” thing is getting funnier each month. It’s like returning to the era of PlayStation 2 with all those ridiculous swords and guns you could plug in. It seems that people are starting to remember what the arcade machines look like.

On Starcraft 2

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If you talked to me about games during the previous several weeks, you have probably noticed that I’ve been quite offensive towards new Blizzard’s game—both before and after its release. There are two reasons for that kind of reaction.

The first one is that I grew up on games from the C&C series, including Tiberian Sun and Red Alert, and also this little but fun Herbert-based Dune series. These games have always had the right mechanics, the right amount of units and no need for extreme micro controlling. The action was slow paced, and you always had plenty of time to think about what you do.

Then, everyone knew what Blizzard did. In Warcraft they simply took these Westwood mechanics, tweaked them slightly, changed them a bit, and voi-la! A new game was born. Well, -ish. What’s interesting about first games in Warcraft series is that they were surprisingly similar to C&C. In fact, to the extent where an RTS player sometimes didn’t have to memorize new hotkeys. That’s why WC and WC2 both were like fun change of pace for me, not really like a new type of game.

And here I have to say one more thing: I never played Starcraft back then. I was scared of the space setting, the name sounded bizarre, hence the whole thing got onto my HDD some time about WC3 release. The latter, by the way, seemed odd straight away—they changed the interface, they changed the mechanics, they added heroes and, what’s more—it was my first 3D RTS game. Not sure if it was THE first, but my first impression was shock, to be honest.

And then I saw SC. It was like a revelation—I knew from the start that I didn’t want to play this. The interface and the whole feel of the game was very like WC3 and nothing—I repeat—nothing like WC2. Mechanics were a bit odd, but nothing special, really, I just didn’t enjoy playing it. In fact, each time I played SC I desperately wanted to quit and open Red Alert 2. That’s probably why I only made it to the end of Zerg campaign and got rid of the whole thing afterwards.

That was the first reason I didn’t wait for SC2 whatsoever. Here comes the second.

THE GAME IS AWFUL. Guys come on, I don’t really give a lot of shit about multiplayer, but this campaign is a total and absolute disgrace. Mechanics haven’t changed A BIT. Graphics look like 3 or 4 years old. At least. This plot is just pathetic in 2010. I mean, come on, rebels and oppressive government? And a badass dude sitting in a bar grieving about his lost gf? Are you taking us for morons and teenagers, Blizzard? And then this wonderful payment system, when you have to buy game cards to play a single bloody player game. How fucked up is that? I mean, yeah, I know, Bobby Kotick and stuff, but I really don’t give a shit who's fault is that—I just think that Ubisoftish protection systems must die a fast death and that if I’ve bought a game, I would really like to be able to play it—not to bloody pay again. What the hell.

I know that this subscription model is applied only to Russia, Ukraine and several other countries in Eastern Europe. What I don’t know is whether Activision thinks that everyone here is idiotic enough to pay every month for a single player game.

Crossposting

I am currently trying out crossposting in LiveJournal and Blogger via Live Writer. Let’s see if it works.

Magic The Gathering awesomeness


They don’t design cards like this anymore. There is no way you are going to see anything like this in one of those shiny World of Warcraft boxes. I claim that this is what makes collecting card games fun: ├╝ber-cards that make you want to shuffle your deck properly and scream like a kid when you are finally able to put them into play. Resource cost of this particular card is such that you won’t be able to gather that amount of lands until the latest stages of the game. But just check out this design. I mean, hell, it is divided into two parts! I dream of being able to create something like this one day.

They don’t design cards like this anymore.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Expendables



This movie can give you everything you’d expect from a trash movie released somewhere in the beginning of the 90s. It’s not funny. It doesn’t have a great plot (well, to be honest, it doesn’t have any kind of plot for that matter). It doesn’t have a lot of fresh action spiced with ambitious special effects. The Expendables could as well have been made in the 90s. Then, again, what would you expect from a movie produced by Rambo starring Terminator, Rocky and John McClane?

The whole thing – from beginning to the end – screams in ambiguous rage: “Hell, look at those guys, they are still so badass after all these years!” The thing is, they are not. Seriously, the whole movie is about telling us how the cast is badass. Having seen the trailer, you’d probably wonder if there is something more. The answer to this question is no, there is not.

It’s not one of those action movies released in the 21st century. Not Crank, not Transporter, not Shoot ’Em Up. Don’t expect funny jokes and awesome style, for there are no such things here.

The only reason you would want to watch The Expendables is your undeniable urge to see dudes who became symbols of American badassness. And, of course, Charisma Carpenter, who looks surprisingly old—wrinkles all over her face. Not exactly what you remember from watching that sexy bitchy cheerleader in Buffy. 

To cut the long story short, you've got to understand one simple truth: all heroes of your childhood are old now, along with those ancient special effects and oppressive militaristic leaders on lonely Latino islands.