Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Little Things in Saints Row the Third

One of the games that I have been looking to pick up for quite a while now is Saints Row the Third. Word has been that it's a completely crazy off the wall wacky game, and that is something that is very much up my alley. So during the recently concluded Steam Fall Sale I finally picked it up, and I've been playing it quite a bit over the past few days. Today I wanted talk a bit about some of the little things I've found that the game does well. I feel I should point out that this is not a review, a comparison or anything else. The short story is that I find the game to be quite enjoyable. I really don't have the depth of experience with sandboxey games to say these are things other games do not do, though. I simply want to talk about some of the little things Saints Row the Third does that are subtle, but great.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Legend of Zelda and Magic

When I was contemplating what to write my next post on I initially decided to make another ordered list, similar to what I did for Final Fantasy, but for The Legend of Zelda. However while I pondered what exactly I liked and disliked about each game, I quickly came upon a bit of a revelation that I think is pretty interesting. There really wouldn't be any way to squeeze my thoughts on the matter into a couple paragraphs in an "ordered list" style post, so I figured I would promote it to a full blown post of it's own. I still plan to attempt to orderfy the Zelda games in the (possibly) near future, but for now I am going to pontificate on the topic of The Legend of Zelda, and magic. More specifically I want to talk about the second game, The Adventure of Link.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Morality and Player Choice

This past Wednesday I had the opportunity to attend Dig London, a gaming and technology conference (in Ontario, not England). One of the biggest highlights of the day was, without a doubt, listening to two back-to-back talks by Bioware story slingers Ken Thain and Mike Laidlaw. They addressed the matters of narrative, when and where to inject it into gameplay, player freedom, player perspective, etc. It was a very interesting hour, and got me thinking a lot about a topic that has been on a lot of peoples' minds in recent years; morality systems. Of course a lot of the reason my brain went there is simply because they are Bioware guys. While Bioware didn't invent game morality systems, they are certainly a big proponent of them. Regardless, now that morality systems are on my mind, I figure I should do what I do on this blog, and try to translate my random thoughts into a somewhat coherent analysis of the matter at hand.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Dungeons of Dredmor

Recently I finally got around to trying out Dungeons of Dredmor,and having finished the game last night I thought I would talk about my immediate thoughts. If you aren't familiar with the game, it is essentially a roguelike with what I suppose you would call a modern twist. The focus of the game is on creating a highly customizable character with which to plunder 10 floors of a randomly generated dungeon. Moreover, this is something the game wants you to do so again and again. Even the first time you start the game, you get a bit of narrative saying something along the lines of "evil is back, let's kill it again". This attitude isn't uncommon in roguelike games, they are typically built around the idea of high risk gameplay where death is both likely and punishing. I'll talk a whole lot about that later though.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Is Zero Damage OK?

I am immersed in video games at pretty much every hour of the day, in one way or another. I think my favorite thing that comes of this is that I get to look at games under several different lenses. I find it very interesting to see what stands out to me when I am recording a Let's Play of a game, as opposed to simply playing it for myself. Similarly, one thinks very differently about games when you are looking at game design. Now that I have had the chance to actual build several very small projects, I would say that thinking about building a game is even separate from thinking about game design. I've enjoyed analyzing and discussing game design for several years now, but it feels very different from actually sitting down and pondering every minute detail about a game you are personally responsible for creating. That is where this post comes in.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Top 10 Final Fantasy Games

I love Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy has been my go-to franchise for just about as long as I have played video games, and this is true for many RPG fans. As the years march on Final Fantasy has become a shadow of what it once was, but many people, myself included, can look back on decades of history with fondness. Anyways, that doesn't really have a whole lot to do with where I'm going here. One of the things I think is so interesting about Final Fantasy is that typically each game feels radically different from the one before without actually making that many big changes. As a result of this and the pure number of Final Fantasy games out there, people tend to have very different opinions on each game. I always find it really interesting talking to people I know about which ones they liked and which they did not, and why. That's where this post comes in.