I’ve never been one for MMOs, for one I’m scared of them, what with all the talk about EverCrack etc, and for two they kinda sound like too much work. I’m not sure I want a game I can never actually finish playing. My only foray so far into the genre has been Dungeon Runners, which won brownie points with me just for sending up the whole fantasy genre in the old tradition of Bored of the Rings.
Sony’s guy in Europe has been celebrating the success of PS3 in the region since the price cuts late last year, and although he’s rather economical with the truth in places, he’s right - in countries such as France, Spain and Germany the PS3 had a particularly good XMas and New Year period. I’m not entirely sure why, but there has been quite a difference between the figures for the UK and those for the rest of Europe.
The Gerstmann affair might be old news by now, but 1Up’s editor Sam Kennedy posted a fascinating blog entry on the matter today that I highly recommend you read if you’re interested in the backroom goings on of gaming sites like this, and just generally to read a great summary and analysis of the whole affair from start to finish. Very well written.
I mentioned a few days ago that I picked up Skate for the 360, a game I had my eye on because I loved THPS2 (PC) & THPS3 (Gamecube) several years ago and haven’t really played a game like that since, especially given the THPS franchise has gone downhill in recent years. For those who don’t know, the difference in Skate is that while in THPS you had buttons and directional controls to do things like grinds, kickflips etc, in Skate you have one stick to control your board, and one for your body, and all tricks are pulled off by simply moving those in fairly representative ways - so grinding is now a case of positioning your board in the right place, for example by rotating your body 90 degrees in flight to land with the board astride a rail (a boardslide) - no tapping a button to miraculously attach yourself to the grind point or anything.
Saw this linked on Penny Arcade - some guy called Kevin McCullough appears to be trying to compete with Jack Thomson for the heady heights of so-inaccurate-as-to-be-almost-laughable, uninformed game sniping - according to him Mass Effect is a ‘tailor made porn’ game. News to me Kev, I’ve been playing it for about 15 hours now and the nipple count is still stuck at exactly zero. Maybe you got hold of a super-hardcore special edition that the rest of us didn’t?
I experienced XBox Live for the first time last month, and despite the frustrating downtime I have been impressed - when it’s working correctly it’s certainly very slick and well integrated across the entire library of games. I like that you can pop out to the dashboard in any game at all to respond to IMs or whatever without having to exit, and that everything works the same way and integrates with your gamertag.
There’s no denying that a Yoda vs Vader fight is a rather cool prospect - although I think Darth Maul might actually be more interesting, given how Vader is mostly a cripple and has to do most things by just waving his hand. I’m just not sure it feels right in a Soul Calibur game; I found even the inclusion of Link a little weird and jarring in the last one (on GameCube), but such titanic icons as Yoda and Vader?
Ok, let’s be clear - Rez HD coming to the 360 on XBLA is a good thing, I’m sure I’ll end up adding it to my growing XBLA collection - Pac Man Championship Edition is one of my favourite I’ve-got-15-minutes-spare games of all time, and Marie can’t seem to ever stop playing Zuma. If we’re really, really lucky, it might be the free game Microsoft will toss our way in recompense for the shaky Live service recently (which has gotten better, but it’s still pretty sluggish at peak times here), although that’s probably military-grade wishful thinking on my part.