May I play the devil’s advocate without being torn a new one? BioShock Infinite is a good game. With an almost unbelievably beautiful setting, stellar music and voice acting, and solid gameplay similar to its predecessors, 2K Games’ success was a foregone conclusion. Is it a truly great game? Not in my opinion.
If it seems weird that I’m writing a critical of a game that, in the end, I heartily enjoyed, take a trip over to Metacritic. BioShock Infinite currently stands as one of the most highly rated games of the generation. And — superficially — it deserves all those accolades. Let me discuss first what I loved about it. Read the rest of this entry
Hey JTM Nation, I wanted to introduce another new series of articles that I’ll be writing called PlayStation ViTalk, where I’ll be discussing/musing about all things PS Vita. This may include editorials, reviews, or just personal thoughts on what’s happening and what should/could happen to Sony’s portable beast.
Anyway, let’s start the first PlayStation ViTalk by getting that elephant out in the open. The PS Vita does NOT have any good first person shooters worth purchasing. Don’t believe me? Download the Resistance: Burning Skies demo or scour the internet for Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified reviews, then get back to me.
Go on, I can wait. Read the rest of this entry
My worries are not so much about the Wii U as they are brought about by the Wii U.
You may have heard that the Wii U launched last week. I have to admit to being a bit baffled by the thing. I want to believe that the Wii U is yet another notch in Nintendo’s creative belt and not what I fear: a lazy, opportunistic cash grab. As it stands the Wii U has me puzzled.
I see its appeal; a new Nintendo console means a slew of new first-party Nintendo games: The Legend of Zelda, Mario Galaxy (U-niverse, maybe?), Metroid, etc… will surely be released over the next few years to stellar reviews. (And just might even be enough to convince me to buy the damn thing.) Let’s flashback to 2006: the Wii launched and everyone and their mother could see its appeal. In fact, it’s precisely because everyone’s mother — and father, and uncle, and grandma, and little brother — saw its appeal that it became such a mind-boggling success.
Read on after the break.
“So what’s Nico Nico anyway?”
If you’re one of those people (like myself) who look forward to PlayStation Network’s Tuesday releases, you were probably thinking the same thing as you downloaded the new Nico Nico app to your PlayStation Vita. Here I was eagerly awaiting a Crackle, and/or a Dailymotion app, yet what I got was this video sharing social service that’s definitely got “JAPAN” stamped on it.
Nico Nico (or N² for short) is a social video network service, like Youtube, that allows users to share their own videos, follow other creators, and comment on videos uploaded to the service. In its native Japan, Nico Nico is one of the most popular and most-visited websites and is used by celebrities, game companies, and businesses to promote their products to the Japanese netizens.
What I’ve noticed with this app is that it’s a great video sharing app for gamers and Otaku (people addicted to Japanese anime) because many of the most popular video producers on Nico Nico cater to those tastes. This includes J-pop, JRPG’s, anime clubs, K-Pop, and other fan-driven videos. Read the rest of this entry
Two years ago, I made the decision to move to another city to study video game design. It meant leaving behind my long-time boyfriend while I delved into art and game engines and yelled at my computer for the next 48 months. For a while, there was talk over whether he would make the journey with me, but in the end, cheaper rent, his own, stable employment and the idea we would likely have to uproot to yet another part of Canada or even the US after graduating cemented the fact that we were temporarily no longer going to be a same-city couple.
Becoming long-distance shifted our partnership to a strange place mirroring the beginning of a relationship. Visits turned us from semi-functional adults to artificially well-behaved individuals, eager to please. Our world was a rosy haze of bonding hormones. We were in a limbo of first dates, and that disturbed both of us. The lack of the existence of a comfortable ordinary together became a nagging reminder of our distance.
Fortunately, there was one thing we could still do together that managed to remain typical and that was play Borderlands. Here, we found our “normal” again, running through caves and deserts, blasting the heads off our enemies. We cavorted, we competed, we encouraged each other, and we picked up a lot of guns. Read the rest of this entry
So much ire has been targeted at BioWare and Mass Effect 3, despite overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, I feel I need to chime in on something the franchise, including — maybe especially — its latest installment does right: emotion.
You’ve done it a thousand times: take control control of the hero, arm him to the motherfucking teeth, and gun down countless, faceless men. Brutal mass murder can be morally excused as long as the hero shows remorse for A) an innocent, usually a child or helpless female, or B) one of the game’s villains, who becomes a cipher for the hero’s humanity. Human life has been reduced to nothing, or very little, in the context of today’s games.
Edit: Stupid me. Publisher XSEED Games is the one bringing The Last Story to the shores of the colonies. Boo, Nintendo for passing up the opportunity, but my pat on the back remains for Xenoblade Chronicles (and Pandora’s Tower, the just-happy-to-be-invited-to-the-party target of Operation Rainfall).
It’s so easy to complain about the things the game industry does wrong, (see my malcontent DLC and Final Fantasy articles), so it’s nice to congratulate game companies for doing something commendable. (It’s even rarer to have an excuse to dust off my Wii.) Good work, Nintendo.
A handful of highly anticipated games were released overseas in 2011, but not in North America. However — thanks to the uproar from, and much to the surprise of, many fans — we’ll soon see a few. Fans launched “Operation Rainfall,” a fan campaign meant to persuade Nintendo to publish previously unreleased JRPG’s in North America. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of these fans, next month we’ll be getting the critically adored Xenoblade Chronicles, from Tetsuya Takahashi, the passionate creator of the Xenosaga series, and June will see the release of The Last Story, the latest from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy and notably uncreative titler (not to mention longtime Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, who was unceremoniously dumped from Final Fantasy XIII). Read the rest of this entry
If you’re on a site like JTM, you have probably noticed an interesting trend bouncing about the gaming community: the worthiness of mediocre reviews. For my money it’s a damn good question. And thinking on it dredges up a frustrating irony.
If you check out my last few reviews you will notice I refrained from supplying a score. Honestly, I find the exercise a bit hollow. It isn’t pointless: supplying a numerical or starred score review allows a reader — well, a peruser — quick access to an overview of the critic’s opinion; a two and a half star score suggests a kingdom of difference from a four star score. However, I find applying a specific score futile and — in the very terrible cases, of which there are many in our little industry — reactionary. Read the rest of this entry
What do you look for in a game? If you said “fun,” you should probably pick up Uncharted 3. If you said “kick-ass action,” you should probably pick up Uncharted 3. If you said “deep and addictive multiplayer,” you should probably picked up Uncharted 3. If you said…
Okay, you get my point. If you own a PS3, you should prob–scratch that, you want to have a copy of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in your library.
Uncharted 3 represents, to my eyes, the pinnacle of Popcorn Gaming: in the same way I lined up to see Avatar, plan on lining up to see The Dark Knight Rises, and regularly line up to see every Steven Spielberg movie (well, blockbuster-mode Spielberg at least), I will probably never not — after the unbelievable Uncharted 2: Among Thieves — accompany Nathan Drake, his pal Sully, and the gang on their globetrotting adventures. Read the rest of this entry
Normally I might pick up a game because of a review, marketing campaign, the demo caught me, I like previous releases from studio, or a friend recommends it. Burnout: Crash had me on the fence. I enjoyed previous titles in the series but wasn’t sure the new format was going to be worth my ten bucks. Reviews weren’t selling me on it and that acid trip with The Hoff certainly didn’t do anything.
What caused me to pony up?