Monday, January 4, 2010


I actually managed to play some games over the holidays, something I haven't done much of in a long time. My opinions:

Torchlight: Pretty but extremely repetitive Diablo clone. Still good for a few hours of fun.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: Fantastic gameplay burdened with a generic fantasy license (saying this as a one-time Might and Magic fan). Inventing a puzzle-based battle system has been a goal of mine for a long time and I'm very impressed with the one Capybara has concocted here. I saw Critter Crunch on PSN last month and there are definite similarities. I loved the fiction surrounding Critter Crunch. Here it's the usual overwrought elves-n-paladins stuff, but you should try your best to overlook that because the gameplay's great.

Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Partway into this one. Moderately interesting. The train seems like it has potential to be a real drag.

Halo: ODST: Meh. Fight a bunch of dudes through a series of tunnels that are supposed to be a city. Some day there will be a game set in a city where you can actually go into any building and the layouts are not intentionally mazelike to compensate for hardware handicaps. This is not that day. This is essentially the Halo 3 Remix, at least in the single-player.

Assassin's Creed: (the first one) Surprisingly less polished than I would have expected given the size of the development teams in Montreal. I'm only partway into this one; I like the environments. The animation is atrocious though, with pops and hitches continually violating characters' appearance of weight.

Mass Effect: Also only partway into this one. I love their character rendering system during cutscenes. Very cinematic lighting. Of course the lip-sync brings everything crashing down. Animation is the Achilles' heel of all current CG, even $350 million epics like Avatar.

Saira: Tried the demo, decided it was a bit too frustrating for me. I loved Nifflas' previous games though. If you haven't, check them out.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I've been getting the same feeling from Saira, sadly. It's a real pity the controls and mechanics are so frustrating, because a big ol' exploration game where you can travel from planet to planet is just about my favorite game concept ever.