Saturday, February 10, 2018
Do you mean best level design? If so, the original Dark Souls wins by that metric. A large variety of environments interconnected in interesting ways is the biggest reason for recommending that entry over others in the series. From the Asylum in the beginning to the Kiln at the end, pretty much every zone in the game is a feast for the senses. My personal favorite is Ash Lake which, incidentally, is an entirely optional area that can be easily missed given the fact that the only entrance is secret hidden within a secret.
Do you mean best combat? If so, Bloodborne is the most satisfying. Unlike other other action-RPGs made by From Software, Bloodborne doesn't allow players to take cover behind a sturdy shield. As such players must react dynamically and take the initiative. The stat and upgrade systems are also less complex than those used in the Souls series meaning players need not spend large amounts of time fiddling with numbers, and instead can focus on doing battle.
Do you mean best story? If so, then Demon's Souls is the most compelling in that department. Bloodborne suffers from a clouding of dreams and reality, leaving the player to wonder if anything they do (or that happens) really matters within the fiction of that world. Meanwhile, Dark Souls has time travel and some pretty convoluted lore to the point that really understanding what's going on requires a fair amount of online research. On the other hand, Demon's Souls is a lot more straightforward. Carefully reading item descriptions and listening to NPC dialogues are still necessary to get all the little details, but one not need become an amature detective to grasp the main storyline.
So which is the best overall then? It depends on your priorities...or to put it more generally, they're all good from a technical standpoint so it comes down to (largely subjective) personal tastes. Some folks swear Dark Souls II has the best PvP so if that's your thing then maybe that's the best one. Personally, I never got into invading so I don't have much to say about that. The same goes for Dark Souls 3, which up until recently was still a work in progress and, as such, makes it really hard to say where it stands in comparison to the rest. Regardless of it all, Hidetaka Miyazaki has yet to make an objectively bad game, so I say let the good times roll...or block...or parry and repost...
Sunday, February 4, 2018
In the indie space it's fairly common to see developers experimenting with the limits of what video games can achieve. One direction I've seen being pushed increasingly the last couple years is in a meta direction. "What is game?" is a question that was first brought to my attention with the Stanley Parabola about four years ago and is one which I'd like to address here by pointing out three specific examples.
Friday, January 19, 2018
|"Now, where did I put the Rifle Spear...?"|
|The closest there is to a|
Bloodborne table-top RPG
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Obviously, story drive Star Wars games have always held very little appeal to me (sorry...I couldn't care less about Knights of the Old Republic). I'm also perpetually annoyed that there's never been a game that can emulate the cutting power of the lightsabers as depicted in the the film. In fact the closest I've ever seen a game get is the totally unrelated Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. When it comes to Jedi themselves, I've always wondered what they do to safeguard peace and justice outside of combat. Being able to sense the feelings and thoughts of others sounds like it would come in pretty handy during diplomatic negotiations...not to mention mind control. How about this?
- A Jedi Detective game in the style of L.A. Noire
Here's a few other ideas I've had recently:
- A turn-based space combat game like Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
- An RTS set on Tatooine akin to Dune II or Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
- A Coruscant city builder similar to City Skylines or the Anno series
- A puzzle-platformer wherein you are a baby dianoga hitching rides on starships
None of these pitches are terribly original, but when you look at what EA has done with the license thus far all we've gotten is in 2017 is a bland online multiplayer shooter which feels especially superfluous considering we already have Overwatch, Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. This is an entire galaxy we're talking about in Star Wars, right? I doesn't always have to be about the Rebels, the Empire and the Skywalker bloodline.
Sadly, most designers don't really see it that way. There's this perception that Star Wars will be rejected by fans if it isn't sufficiently similar to the original trilogy (episodes IV, V and VI). The problem I have with that line of thought is what constitutes a Star Wars experience tends to be an all-to-vague collection of narrative themes, character archetypes and visual setpieces. I get it, but it's sort of like insisting that all anime must be about cute big-eyed girls and angsty boys that yell a lot. It doesn't have to be that way...and yet the overwhelming majority of the time it is. I wish Star Wars video games would be willing to distance themselves creatively rather than being a poor-man's copy of the plots from the films - complete with cameos by all your favorite characters...*sigh*