the-inbetween posts categorized as Gaming

Auteurs and Brainbenders

By way of Simon comes an announcement for a new DS game. It’s a game that features a real-world Doctor as its front-and-centre personality and it’s a game that features the word “Brainbenders” in its title. Normally this would be enough to dismiss it outright as yet another clone of the successful “Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training” series. In this case, though, my interest has been piqued simply because of who the title’s Doctor is: Reiner Knizia. If you play modern…

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Burnout Paradise Review

Playing Burnout Paradise reminds me a lot of Sundays in the winter outdoors with friends when I was ten. Three friends would go out on a snowy Sunday and we’d spend hours outside — around the block, in the woods, by the sports fields, at the plaza — doing nothing and everything. We’d pick up snowballs and throw them at signs, seeing who could hit it dead on from the farthest distance. We’d get a toboggan and challenge each other…

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Interface Trap

One of my biggest user interface peeves is the use of loading interstitials that don’t leave the user a means of escape. This is prevalent in a lot of Flash and AJAX sites that tend to load a lot of external data. You click on a button or link, everything deactivates while the word “loading”, or some equivalent, is shown on the screen and once the application loads what it needs it reactivates the buttons and does its thing. The…

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Comparing Matchmaking on XBox Live

As it relates to Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3. I’ve spent a day with Call of Duty 4‘s online multiplayer. Literally. My total multiplayer time has surpassed 24 hours (over 35 now). That’s a hell of a lot of time. Enough to say that I’m experienced enough to opine about its online nuances. Details, having little to do with the actual gameplay, that influence how I feel about this game. The more I play it the more I…

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Gaming Moments of 2007

At this time of the year the internet is awash in lists. Lists of the best things, lists of the worst things and, ultimately, lists of lists. Looking at all the game related run-downs it becomes obvious what games are the most lauded. The majority of the lists contain Portal, Bioshock, Super Mario Galaxy and some combination of Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, Rockband and some arbitrary other game to be unique. During the compilation of my annual list…

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The Score Doesn’t Add Up

There’s a lot that can be written about the whole “Gerstmann-gate” situation but because so much of it is speculation and rumour, all of it will be useless. Of course that doesn’t stop the gaming forums but reason has never been their strong points. One thing that is suspect and beyond mere rumour can be seen in Gamespot’s official response. The point in question: Q: Why was the Kane & Lynch review text altered? A: Jeff’s supervisors and select members…

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Vintage Year

There hasn’t been a lot of time for anything lately because most of it has been preoccupied with this year’s glut of big videogame releases. The holiday season is always a busy time for releases but this year it’s been exceptional. The maturation of the current generation of game consoles has a lot to do with it, especially when you consider that the XBox 360 is hitting its mid-life (3rd generation) stride and the Wii and Playstation are finally losing…

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Positive Feedback in CoD4

I picked up Call of Duty 4 for the 360 late last week. After loading the game I proceeded straight for the online multiplayer — single player be damned. The first game was a write-off as I was figuring out the controls and the classes and the interface (not that I did horrible mind you! Figuring out the controls is easy if you are experienced with console first person shooters.) By the second game I was all set, racking up…

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Facebook, Game Platform

Marek Bronstring’s post Why the next big web game could be on FaceBook or MySpace covers a lot of what I’ve been meaning to write (he saves me the hassle of doing it myself!) ever since the announcement of Google’s OpenSocial API. Though I have an account I’m not a big fan of Facebook. That “social software” kind of networking has little appeal to me and feels superficial (why send a message through a third party site when you can…

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Get Up and Play

Nintendo Canada’s new Get Up and Play site is a perfect microcosm for the whole Nintendo worldwide strategy. Where as most platform holder’s game details generally focus on bite sized write ups on the game’s features and technical capabilities and requirements, along with the pre-requisite screen shots and videos, this site emphasizes a game’s “Activity Level” and what physical aspects it works. A game like Wii Sports has an “Activity Level” of 5/5 and it works your: muscles, reflexes, team…

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Guitar Hero 3

At one point in Guitar Hero 3, after your band achieves enormous success, you are sent to “Lou’s Inferno” where you have to battle (with ROCK) to win back your souls[1]. It’s a perfect analogy for Guitar Hero 3: the third installment in this now super-successful series lacks the soul that made the previous games so good. As I play my way through the Hard Career I find myself less than enthused about it all. It might be that the…

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Consideration for us Console Gamers

Some of us, myself included, prefer to play games away from the computer. If I’m going to play a video game, I want to do it in a nice, comfortable, reclined position and not slouched over a desk. Besides, I don’t need to game on the PC because I do everything else there. I prefer the consoles. So when The Orange Box, with Portal and Half-Life 2 was released I purchased the 360 version. There’s nothing wrong with that. The…

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E4 Obsessiveness

I was reading some of the criticism of Every Extend Extra Extreme and the bulk of it consists of: it’s too easy, too repetitive and too long. I don’t dispute that; it really is. As I was reading those I realized that for nearly the last hour I had one song playing on repeat over and over again*. When it comes to music I like I tend to be obsessive compulsive about it. If I like it, I like it…

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