I think Mojang is my favorite game developer. Even though (right now) I want to try and break into the AAA industry for a career, Mojang is a huge inspiration for me.
Because they’re an indie developer, they really prove how much one idea can take off. Minecraft is insanely popular, and it was only a small team who created/is creating it. I also really liked how they did their PR. Notch simply blogged about it here on Tumblr (and elsewhere on the web) and forums & word-of-mouth did the rest.
If I ever decide to take a direction of my own and make a game that’s my own idea, I’m definitely using Mojang as a rolemodel.
I’m going to edit this day’s topic slightly, because epic-ness doesn’t always necessarily have to be an awesome moment. You can have an epically shocking, horrifying moment in games. Something that makes you scream “WTF” at the TV repeatedly, as if the game can hear you.
My most epic moment in gaming, was in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. If you haven’t played the game, play it first. I don’t want to spoil this experience for anyone.
I have always wanted to play the Final Fantasy games. One day, I will.
I’ve never owned a PlayStation system, so my knowledge of those games are severely limited. I wish I did, there are so many awesome games that I should explore. But until my money isn’t being sucked into a black hole (known fondly as SCAD), I’ll have to wait to play these games.
Day 25, Game I Plan On Playing | Final Fantasy Series
Tetris, in a word, is amazing. It’s endlessly addicting, with a song that simply refuses to get out of your head the more you play. Although I do have a version of Tetris on my iPhone that I play on occasion, they butchered the classic tune with some jazzed-up, “funky” remix that sucks. Clearly, it is terrible. (I link the game to my iPod, during which I play the classic Tetris theme. I realize I am a nerd.)
However, the best version of Tetris ever is the one that shipped with the original GameBoy. You can play this version on TetrisFriends. It’s called Tetris 1985.
This took me ages to figure out (and took quite a toll on my plan to catch up with these) since my favorite stories haven’t been finished yet. Mass Effect & Assassin’s Creed were both killer, but until both series are wrapped up I can’t say for sure that either story takes the cake. And I think I’ve talked about Portal way too much to pick that.
But..I honestly really, really liked Starcraft. Starcraft and it’s expansion, Brood War, were pretty epic. There was corruption, rebellion, backstabbing, betrayal…all of those things that create high-tension intrigue in a story.
What’s more, the narrative doesn’t only happen in cutscenes. They’re mostly there to make the game shiny and polished. Most of it occurs mid-mission and in briefings, which I think is a neat way to do it. Not only that, but I feel as though I am a character in this universe. As a commander, I do get to make (few) choices. And NPCs interact with me. It isn’t “me” as in a modeled character with a name and storyline. It’s actually me. I like being put into a story in the most immersive way possible, and I thinks StarCraft does that well.
One of my all-time favorite hobbies (aside from gaming) is reading. I love a good story. The best ones get you addicted, sometimes to the point where you can’t put the book down. Translating my passion for books into video-game terms, I adore a game with a killer narrative. If it’s got an amazing story, it’s (usually) worth suffering through crappy gameplay.
Games open up new opportunities for story. They allow the player to be immersed in a different universe and actually take part in that world. It’s amazing. Games have evolved so that players are allowed more and more flexibility with the story. The full extent of player’s effect on narrative is best expressed by the RPG.
Modern RPGs, such as Mass Effect, allow the player to have a massive amount of control over their character and the way their character affects the world around them. By interacting with the game world in different ways, one player can get a completely different play experience than the next.
Though not all RPGs have this freedom when it comes to plot, I think these specific kinds of RPGs hold a special place in my heart. I love the feeling of making an awesome story my own.
For all that I think cutscenes can be gorgeous to look at, I almost feel as though I liked Portal 2's lack of cutscenes better. All of the gameplay & narrative were melded together seamlessly. Things just flowed. There was no interruption of gameplay to have a cutscene explain the next bit of narrative. Everything happened to the player as the player was engaged in the game. I think that’s the way it should be.
…This goes for Portal as well, however I listed the second as it had that adorable ending cinematic!
Day 16, Best Cutscenes | Portal 2
(Posted a few days late because I got busy with life.)
This game is called This Is The Only Level. It’s an amazingly clever title for an amazingly clever game. Many types of puzzles claim to make you “think outside the box”, but what is “thinking outside of the box” other than following a set of instructions that just tells you how to solve longer and longer puzzles? Well, what we have here is a game that truly makes you think outside the box.
This game is clever. This game is dastardly. This game is frustrating. This game is downright evil. This game will grab you by the hair and press your face up against a buzz-saw and tell you that if you don’t think as far outside of the box as you can possibly get, it will chop you into tiny little frustrated pieces and eat your children and your dog.
This Is The Only Level and its sequel This Is The Only Level Tooare simple, yet brilliant. They give you just enough information to find the solution, but not enough to solve it easily or quickly.
Everyone should play this game because it proves how diverse the gaming industry really is. The creator of this game could very well be your younger brother, your waitress, your mechanic, or the strange cashier at the movie theater. Everyday people have the ability to reach billions of people simply by uploading their game to the internet. And even though they might not be striving to pack meaning and emotion into their games or trying to create something that will instantly confirm this medium as an art form in the eyes of critics…they still contribute to world of games. Even if the purpose is as simple as getting the player to stretch the right half of their brain a little bit.
Day 12, A Game Everyone Should Play | This Is The Only Level
“Call of Duty is just the videogame adaptation of squirt guns. It makes sense that kids would be drawn to it more so than many adults. The simplicity and sense of empowerment that come from taking a gun and shooting at something or someone knows no age restrictions. However, it does demand a child-like sensibility to take such pursuits seriously enough to prioritize them over other activities. That’s why I’m guessing kids love Call of Duty so much”—Jonathan Holmes in the “Why do kids love Call of Duty” article (via fycod)
I definitely woke up a little late today, but that’s okay…gave me some more time to think about this next one. “Best Gameplay” seems like a very opinionated category. For example, say you like RPGs and are a big Diablo fan. Well, Dragon Age II is also an RPG, but it has a completely different style of gameplay. You might end up loving it or hating it. So, instead of labeling a game with best gameplay ever, I’m going to use today to outline a game that I think has great gameplay.
Recently I made my brother buy LA Noire for Xbox. Although I only got to watch him play a little bit of the game, I really enjoyed it. I think this game has great gameplay because of its variety. You walk, drive, shoot, talk, and search for clues.
Like Mass Effect, conversations have an effect on the plot based on how you answer. I love that, as it makes me (as a player) feel like I have control over the story. The best party about this in La Noire is that because of the MotionScan technology, it allows you to think like a detective. You actually have to figure out if the person-of-interest is telling it straight or spouting bullcrap.
I also liked searching for clues. I think it’s neat how even though you might be able to pick something up, it may or may not be relevant. It’s up to the player to discover what about the object is significant.
The open-world aspect of the game is fun as well. Street crimes and unlocking all the cars in the game are two great incentives to explore the map. Street crimes (as well as the action sequences in the main case) give the game a well-rounded action side to compliment the exploration, without being the main focus of the game. It’s all about solving crimes, not shooting people…and I think the game makes that clear. However, the fact that it is open world means that if you do just feel like driving around and smashing stuff, you can.
All in all, I think LA Noire is a great game with awesome gameplay. Then again, I like this kind of stuff. RPGs, exploration, conversation/interrogation, etc…I enjoy it, but it might not be for everyone.
My favorite soundtrack is the one from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
For a long time this was my favorite game for GameCube, and a big part of that was the fact that I loved the music. It is unique in that each character has their own theme. Sonic has rock-style music, Rouge has a more pop-like sound, and Knuckles has a hip-hop theme. Their respective levels all have songs composed specifically for them.
Now, I have this soundtrack on my iPod and it is absolutely wonderful. Definitely something that brings about great memories of the game while serving as…well, real music (not saying that a good score isn’t real music, of course). You’ve got a great variety of songs that can blend with any library so well, you’d never know you were listening to music from a video game.
Sidenote: I can still rap the song from Pumpkin Hill in its entirety. …is that weird?
For all that Princess Peach would be the most irritating spouse ever for constantly getting herself in trouble, there is no question about Mario's loyalty to his princess.
Since the original Super Mario Bros. was released in 1985, this man has been faithful to finding and rescuing his darling Peach from various evildoers. Normal men might have given up after the third try, figuring it was a sign that the two were not meant to be. But not Mario. This guy’s been at it for twenty-six years. If ever a man were so dedicated to his love that he would put up with that kind of bullshit for 26 years, he would have to be the best boyfriend ever.
Cheers to Mario and Peach, the longest-lasting and most dedicated couple in gaming history.
The only reason I used to play The Sims when I was younger was because I liked to build houses. I would fill my neighborhoods with luxurious, fully-furnished houses with beautiful yards…and all of them remain unoccupied. The whole “living” part of The Sims just seemed a lot less appealing.
So, why did I love Animal Crossing so much when it was essentially The Sims without what I liked about The Sims? You can’t build, furnishing & upgrading your home is painfully slow, time passes at the rate of the real world (so eventually you run out of things to do), a lot of the game is comprised of fetch quests (fetch quest after fetch quest after fetch quest…), and the game requires constant maintenance. People notice if you sleep in past 10AM, if you neglect the game for a month, and it whines if you don’t weed. Oh. And Resetti. That is all.
Maybe I’ll never understand why I love it so much. But when I got the original Gamecube version for my birthday, I was hooked pretty quickly. It was adorable and fun and awesome and fluffy, and Quetzel was my best friend ever. Then when Wild World was released, I loved being able to carry it around. In fact, I loved it so much that after I accidentally lost the game I actually bought a second copy. And City Folk? All over that.
When the 3DS version comes out, I plan on buying myself a 3DS just so I can play and get my fix. So… even though I haven’t played in god-knows-how-long, Animal Crossing still remains a game that I can’t seem to get enough of. Even though I still don’t quite know why I love it.
I kind of wish I could play it right now just so I could see the fireworks display that is supposed to happen every July 4th. …Why do I still know that?
When I first picked up Infinite Undiscovery, a JRPG by Square Enix, I thought it was supposed to be a cheesy Final Fantasy ripoff. I’ve always wanted to play the Final Fantasy games, but since I’ve never owned a Playstation I figured this was better than nothing.
Infinite Undiscovery is not a perfect game. Though the gameplay is decent enough, many areas are large enough to get lost in and I do think Square Enix tried to force in too many characters. However, what it lacks here it makes up for in story:
The game stars a pacifist flute-player who is accidentally mistaken for the land’s greatest hero, who is trying to save the world from the “Order of Chains”— a group who chained the moon to the earth in an effort to disrupt the special powers people have that are supposedly granted to them by the moon in the form of “lunaglyphs”.
To be honest, I thought it was dorky and kind of lame for about 2/3 of the game. The obligatory archer, Aya, was annoying as hell and some of the other obligatory character stereotypes were exaggerated (which made it kind of hilarious yet hard to take seriously). Then all of a sudden, the story gets hit over the head with the epic hammer and turns out to be pretty awesome.
So, why do I think a game that I’ve merely described as “mediocre” is underrated? Well, I think people look at this game the wrong way. Most people are expecting a serious, Final-Fantasy-like JRPG when they first play this game. This game is far from it. It’s a silly, quirky little game that has a fun story and hilarious characters. It has high points and low points, happy moments, sad moments, and face-palm moments.
If you start this game with a serious attitude and super-high expectations for a JRPG, you’ll probably be let down. But, if you start this game with a laid-back mindset expecting something kind of cheesy but altogether fun then you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Day 3: An Underrated Video Game | Infinite Undiscovery