Monday, February 27, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Wings of Saint Nazaire appears to be taking some tentative steps in that 'wider view' direction. Whether or not anything will come of it remains to be seen. According to the developer's blog, progress is being made, but real life demands have inhibited the studio's forward momentum. Hopefully fans will get to play an updated version of the game sometime soon. Also, here's hoping that the envisioned end product doesn't get gutted along the way like what happened to House of the Dying Sun.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Pretty much every console in the history of video games has suffered from slim pickings for the first six to twelve months after release. The Switch is no exception here with launch window titles being few and lacking in variety, or perhaps a better way of wording it would be lacking in originality. Sure we got Zelda (now with open-world survival crafting elements!), Mario (*spoilers* the princess gets kidnapped again), and Splatoon 2 (the unofficial tie-in game for the movie Rainbow War), but none of these franchises are going outside their established comfort zones. In the past Nintendo has shown a willingness to put their iconic characters in circumstances outside norm, take Dr. Mario or Zelda II: Adventures of Link for example. Even if current Nintendo leadership doesn't want to risk tarnishing the image of their mascots, they still have the option to innovate by creating new experimental IPs. Case in point, the Mode 7 gameplay pioneered in F-Zero paved the way for Mario Kart, while Stunt Race did a lot of the ground work on the FX chip which made Yoshi's Island possible. Of course not every experiment was a success (Pilotwings, anyone?), but still it demonstrated a desire on Nintendo's part to try new things and advance the industry. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Usually when the phrase "turn-based" strategy comes up it implies a you-go-then-I-go style of gameplay. The most common version of this is by teams (examples include XCOM, Front Mission and Final Fantasy: Tactics). Somewhat rarer takes on the concept are command point systems (Valkyria Chronicles) and unit-by-unit systems (The Banner Saga). However, the most unconventional way of doing turn-based strategy in my mind has to be the simultaneous-turns method. Aside from the aforementioned Flamberge, I can only think of three other titles that have ever used this particular approach.
Flamberge represents an evolution of this subgenre in that it takes the best from its three predecessors and attempts to innovate and streamline the mechanics. The story is unfinished, but has potential; arguably, it strikes a good balance between too much story and no-story at all. Here's hoping this game makes it out of early access in a timely manner unlike so many other titles that are soon abandoned and forgotten after their Steam debut.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Take the word "practical" here with a big grain of salt since chainsaws make for cumbersome melee weapons. They're heavy, bulky, imbalanced, and generally speaking, don't start up on the first pull. Until their little high performance 2-stroke engines are warmed up they usually can't be throttle up with out the motor dying. What's more, the spinning chain can cause bounce-back if it's brought against a surface too quickly, putting the operator in a lot of danger. On top of all this the teeth on a chainsaw are designed to cut through wood and not much else. As such they tend to get caught up in clothing fabric. They also dull very quickly against hard materials and as such can't tear through most metal surfaces (a fact that is well demonstrated in the original film, but largely ignored in later iterations). Then again, if you're mentally handicapped, it could very well be that none of these facts would make an impression on you're weapon selection process.
Nevertheless, video games have embraced the chainsaw as a deadly melee armament; Doom, Gears of War, Splatterhouse and most recently Resident Evil 7 are just a few examples. It's not hard to see why those games chose the chainsaw over more widely used hand-to-hand weaponry. Chainsaws, to the uninitiated, are incredibly intimidating with their loud, shrill-sounding motors that billow for clouds of oily vapor. It's definitely a given that games thriving on gore like to show the effects of being sliced and diced in a less-than-expeditious manner. Again, it's not my thing, but it get what the designers were going for.
Of course what makes sense in Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't necessarily jive in other settings. For example, the Sawyer/Hewitt/Slaughter family patriarch is (as far as I can tell) some kind of undead. Scary? Sure. Plausible? Not really...
|What's that? |
I can't hear your criticism over the sound of my CHAINSAW!