Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Tricks of the Classic NES Tetris Masters (Book)

The great thing about a self-publishing platform like Amazon's CreateSpace is that it allows for the creation and distribution of wonderful little publications that might not otherwise see the light of day. "Tricks of the Classic NES Tetris Masters" by Brian K. Smith is such an example.

While Tetris itself is one of the most beloved video games of all time, dedicating an entire book to just one version might seem a little too niche. This book runs with that idea, however, and it's a great way to take what turns out to be a tremendous amount of information and focus it.

The book includes a well written single page introduction from Alex Kerr, a Tetris Grandmaster, that gives some insight into why the NES version of Tetris is special and later in the book the author discusses the Tengen version of the game that was taken off the market. There could have been more discussion about this version, although I understand why there wasn't.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Review: The Last of Us Remastered (PS4)

Like a handful of successful PlayStation 3 titles, The Last of Us has been remastered and brought to the PlayStation 4.

My first encounter with the game was a little underwhelming to say the least. I played Last of Us on the PS3 last summer for a few hours and couldn’t really get into the game. I found the pacing too slow and quickly stopped playing the game. I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. I even remember walking from electronics store to electronics store being told by the cashiers that all their copies of the title were sold out. Naturally, I just downloaded it from the Playstation Store and it say on my hard drive not being played.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Review: The Walking Dead - Season 2 (PC)

This review takes a look at The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episodes 3 - 5.

There are few things I'll give developer Telltale credit for and one of them is owning up to the fact The Walking Dead series is merely a Choose Your Own Adventure (or possibly more accurately, "gamebook" or "interactive story") rather than an adventure game, where players might have to solve a puzzle or two along the way. You know, combine items, use game logic to figure things out... there's really none of that, even in comparison to first season of The Walking Dead.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Interview: Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary Edition)

I suppose the first question is, why now. Why now for a remastered version of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (besides the 20th Anniversary aspect)?
It was really just a series of fortunate events. I first started talking to Activision about doing something with them around the time of our Pinkerton Road Kickstarter in 2012. There were some managers there who wanted to see the old Sierra franchises brought back (those same people were behind the new Sierra brand I expect). The idea of doing a 20th anniversary edition of GK1 came up. (We were all shocked to realize it had been 20 years.) The chance to be able to redo the game that established me as a designer as one of our first Pinkerton Road titles was too good to pass up.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Hardware Review: HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset

There's something to be said for the simple approach and it's often that same approach that's often eschewed in favour of extra doo-dads and poppler-danglers.

Kingston's HyperX Cloud gaming headset takes the simple approach and still offers some great sound and recording capabilities. Though it's somewhat over-packaged, you'll spend more time removing the outer box then opening the heavy interior box than it takes to get the HyperX Cloud working. Plug in the headphone jack (and mic if you need to record something or communicate a multiplayer games) and it works.

For this review, I used the HyperX Cloud with my laptop.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Taking a Peak at Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox (PC)

visiting a village
The very first computer RPG that I ever played was Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. My dad and I would take our party into the maze and map our way around there while fighting all sorts of monsters and hoping we didn't accidentally step onto a teleporter. Good times were had, and the game imbued me at an early age with a taste for role-playing games presented from a first person perspective. From there, I went on to search out other such games like this, eventually absorbing myself in the likes of The Bard's Tale, Might and Magic, and Eye of the Beholder. So, when I found out about Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, an RPG of similar ilk currently in development, I knew that I had to check it out.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Review: EA Sports UFC (PS4)

It seems like every time a console cycle starts, there's always a title or two that shows off the graphical powerhouse of the next gen consoles.

On the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 it was Fight Night; for PlayStation 4 it is UFC. It just happens to be a "coincidence" that both Fight Night and UFC are published by Electronic Arts.

UFC is a drop dead gorgeous game. Little details like sweat, muscle and tattoos look photorealistic. Even the instant replays show off the games graphical prowess. Seeing every muscle react to an opponent being punched in slow motion shows what these next generation (now, current gen) consoles are capable of.