the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Gears of War

I wrote the majority of the following two days after Gears of War launched. It has since been sitting in limbo. Might as well just get it out now:

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The Next Week

2006 Rock Paper Scissors World Championships Toronto International Art Fair Toronto Condo Show XBox 360 – Gears of War Playstation 2 – Guitar Hero 2 ( m/ ) XBox 360 – Call of Duty 3 (a Canadian campaign and a Polish campaign!? They know how to push my buttons!) Playstation 2 – Sega Genesis Collection PSP – Every Extend Extra PSP – Lumines 2 XBox 360 – Tony Hawk’s Project 8 NDS – Elite Beat Agents NDS – Yoshi’s Island…

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If FPS designers designed cities.

The Tblisi Ministry of Transport is very constructivist and/or brutalist. Basically, very Soviet. It also bears a striking resemblence to the kind of structures that you’d find in future-set FPS games. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Half-Life 2 is set in an Eastern European styled city. It makes me wonder if anybody has done (I’m sure somebody has) a study on architectural/civic design as represented in video games. Could be an interesting subject. Bonus content: Russian Utopia: A Depository.

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Confessions of a Clone Maker

Or, “Regarding Ripping off Japan”. Read the latest Gamasutra Soapbox called “Japanese Video Game Copyright Protection & Preservation (Or Lack Thereof).” I have issues with it, but I’m biased. So is the author, but I’ll get to that later. The confession. While I did not work on the games that were singled out, I did work on similar games at the same time and was around the creation of the two “classic” CBC games mentioned. Apparently, I’m a thief? Maybe…

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Lumines Live

I bought Lumines Live. I liked it. I then bought the extra “Advance pack”. I liked it. If there were to be another skin pack, I might get it too. (I’ll pass on the battle/puzzle stuff though — never touched them never will). Does this make me a bad person? All the holier-than-though game magazine editor podcasts tell me “YES, yes you are.” They say I am part of the problem, equating this to various horse armours and NFL stadiums.…

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Digital Distribution

A few months ago, before the release of Prey, 3DR blowhard Scott Miller shot down negative comments about the future of digital distribution and praised the coming digital distribution revolution. Obviously, the “praise” was nothing more than a giant plug for the service that they were using for Prey: Triton. In his post, Miller wrote about the many advantages of a system like Triton (two of which were anti-consumer). He said that There are other advantages, too, but I’ll save…

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“Fog in Toronto”

If going to a show where an orchestra plays music from video games makes me a nerd, then what does it mean when I go to two such shows in a month? After going to Video Games Live a month ago with (recap writing) Jenn, Saturday night I attended Play! A Video Game Symphony. The main difference between the two shows was the $50+ price disparity, which reflected itself in the quality of the arrangements, the guests, the size of…

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Guitar Hero 2, Jackson’s Halo, Mata and GT

A series of quick notes: The EGM Podcast (I’ve been listening to a lot of gaming podcasts lately) has an episode all about Guitar Hero 2 with series guitarist Marcus Henderson (he laid down the metal and punk tracks for the game’s songs) and Associate Producer Ted Lange. If you have any interest in Guitar Hero 2 and/or rocking out, check the September 25th episode out. There’s plenty of information about how songs are picked, how they’re produced and about…

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E3 2002

With E3 being scaled down next year, I figured it was time to belatedly reminisce about the extravagant and smelly spectacle that it once was. So I’ve uploaded a number of photos from the 2002 show, the one and only time I attended. Bonus content: The Decline of Western Magazine Design and The Final Decline and Total Collapse of the American Magazine Cover. Also, My Animated World, a stop-motion day in the life of a gamer.

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Toronto Sun

Oh, fuck off Toronto Sun, you worthless rag. Stuff your sensationalist bullshit up your ass. I don’t read your trash, but now I will pledge to read it even less. By comparison, the Toronto Star had this matter-of-fact headline:

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Saint’s Row

While immitation might be a form of flattery, Saint’s Row is akin to a giant blow job. “Inspiration” and “influence” are words that are too kind when used to describe this grand theft design committed by Volition and THQ. It’s too bad. There’s some decent ideas (improvements) there and the engine is certainly capable and the production values are admirable, but no matter what the game does right it can not escape the shadow of Grand Theft Auto. It is…

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Music to Play Geometry Wars to

Meanwhile, in the XBox Arcade. Geometry Wars. A threshold has been crossed. Over the course of a day or two, I jumped from “500,000 points is a big time fluke” to “500,000 points is an average score.” My new 840k+ high score has put me in second place on my friends list. That’s nowhere near the overall leader, but I don’t care. I just want to be number one on my friends list and that’s what keeps me playing. To…

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XBox user ads

What happens when you ask your users (especially game players) for their advertisement ideas? One horrible idea after another. My favourite: The commercial would start in a bedroom showing a wife, or possibly a girlfriend in restless sleep, when all of a sudden you could hear some random shouting of excitement. The woman would wake up, and look at the empty spot in the bed right next to her, and you can see frustration on her face. She gets up,…

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