User generated content is currently something of a media darling in the game industry. Of course, it’s actually nothing new - gamers on open platforms like PC and the home computers before it have been creating mods and new content for their games for a couple of decades now. What’s different now with the advent of yet another acronym to remember (UGC) is that the concept has finally come to the home consoles, those friendly ‘turn on and play’ devices.
I’m about 8 hours into Fable 2 now, and I feel I have at least some ability to give an impression of the game, although due to it’s nature, I do have to put a big warning sticker on this saying ‘work in progress’ - because one of the main things about Fable 2 is that it’s a slow burner. You really, really need to spend a number of hours with it before you really start to settle in.
I’m still of the opinion that Harmonix make the most fun music software, and a lot of veteran players agree with me (except Eurogamer, who said GH3 was ‘better in every way’ than GH2, which IMO is total nonsense). However, Red Octane tend to make good hardware - personally although I own both I much prefer the Rock Band Strat to the GH3 Les Paul, but I know I’m in a minority there even among RB fans.
Damn - the Christmas glut hasn’t even started yet, and there are already too many games for me to play. I’m at the stage where I don’t actually have to wait excitedly for any games, on account of the fact that I’ll be so distracted by the current set of games I don’t have time to play properly that the new ones will still turn up early enough for me to have trouble accommodating them.
It appears that despite many people having their hands on the game, the ever-present review embargo appears to be stopping most from commenting so far, but IGN appears to have been the first of the game enthusiast sites to get a review of Guitar Hero World Tour posted. I don’t go by scores personally, I advise you to read the full review. It’s only one opinion so far, but to me, there are a couple of elements that make it sound like Neversoft may have missed some fairly important points again.
Well, Harmonix confirmed the list of 20 ‘free’ DLC tracks included in the Rock Band 2 retail bundle, and here it is: The 88 - “Sons and Daughters” Authority Zero - “No Regrets” Between the Buried and Me - “Prequel To The Sequel” The Cab - “Bounce” The Chevelles - “Get It On” The Cocktail Slippers - “Give It To Me” Dealership - “Database Corrupted” Endeverafter - “I Wanna Be Your Man”
Wow, Fable 2 is getting some pretty impressive reviews (both Edge and Eurogamer loved it). I was already expecting to get it, but the reviews have convinced me to pre-order. I love good (western) RPGs, particularly when they come loaded with character and Fable 2 seems to deliver that in spades. It sounds like for the first time in a while, a game fronted by legendary Peter Molyneux may actually live up to the hype.
Looks like a bug has been discovered in Rock Band 2 that can randomly reset your band’s progress under a certain set of curcumstances. So far it appears that it only happens if you play the career mode with a certain combination of accounts - notably a player with a Live-enabled account, and a player with a non-Live-enabled account. Here’s hoping they fix it before the UK release, although I actually don’t think I’d suffer from it anyway, since Marie & I both have Live accounts, and when other people play they don’t use their own accounts, they just jump in as ‘Player 3’ or whatever; so far those combinations sound like they’re immune to this bug.
Since I’ve been taking a rare weekend off, I took the time to download the latest batch of XBLA demos to check out the latest slices of (hopefully) juicy bite-sized gameplay. The results were mixed. Braid I’d actually downloaded the demo for this a while ago, but at that stage I’d been pretty short of time, and on getting frustrated with a particular section I had tossed it aside and gone with the far more immediate Geometry Wars 2 instead.
I just watched the Little Big Planet beta video that VG247 posted, and I have to say well done to Media Molecule for creating a game with a definite British feel to it (as well as it still looking damn interesting). I complained a while back about the overt Americanisation in so much of the output of British studios in recent years, losing a lot of the regional quirkiness that I think enhances content from any country, so I’m glad to see the spirit is not dead.