Sunday, February 18, 2007

Long time no update

Sorry blogosphere, I've been busy. Work, kids, wife, getting ready for GDC, etc.

I also have to admit that I've sunk an ungodly amount of time into Saint's Row on the 360 lately. Just an hour or two a day but it adds up! Anyhow, here's an update on that and a number of other games I've had some time with.

Saints Row:

  • Saint's Row is good, if you like the GTA-3 style sandbox games.
  • I thought the missions/story/writing/etc was pretty good. No one's winning a pulitzer, but hey, it's as good as other high end game titles out there.
  • I'm all for 'games for grownups', and with the language and content to suit it - where it helps the story. There were a few (not many) places where it was so over the top that it detracted from the story and felt more... adolescent. The escort missions (where you drive around a call girl and her client, trying to avoid the paparazzi while they get their freak on) were just over the top. Didn't add to it.
  • A couple of the aside-from-story activities (eg. Hitman, Chop Shop) felt totally like a needle in a haystack. Even more true for the music cd's and tag locations all over the city. There was little in the way of a feedback mechanism to let the player know they were on the right track. For example, Hitman should have let you ask passers-by (by shaking them down, bribing them, etc) if they'd seen someone, letting you do the time-based equivalent of a sonar ping; "he was here 3 minutes ago".
  • I finished the story long ago. The amount of work to mop up all the onesy-twosey 10 point acheivements is pretty high - so why won't I put it down?

Lost Planet:

  • Played it through to end of first boss. Maybe that isn't enough to judge it but...
  • ...I can't beleive people are rating this game as high as they are.
  • Writing is attrocious. I know some of it is 'lost in translation', but even that's not the whole problem. THe story right out of the gate is full of holes, and then they plug those holes with cliches. Ugh. It's laughable.
  • It's pretty. OK, that's good.
  • The enemy AI is crap. Boss fights (well, the first one anyway) feel very 1990's.


  • Haven't played it yet, but I *have* it. Maybe tommorrow.

Pacman, Ms Pacman:

  • I'm assuming you know these games. If you are an acheivment-chaser, these are pretty easy to bang through to get them all. I have 200/200 on Ms P, and 170/200 on Mr P. Getting all four ghosts with all four powerups on Mr P is pretty hard.

Root Beer Tapper:

  • I haven't given this one much of a chance yet, but I'm curious how well I can get used to the controller. Tapper in the arcade was always a button-up/button-down dependant game, where the button was effectively replaced by a keg-tap-lever type of controller. The button might have been better mapped to one of the analog controllers?

OK. Back to GDC planning. I'm doing 3 sessions there. More on that in the next day or two...


Anonymous said...

How's this for a game theme:

Patrick said...

Doing just one GDC session is much more managable.

Based on your appraisal of Saint's Row's writing, what do you think of the quality of game writing generally?

Alice said...

"Work, kids, wife, getting ready for GDC, etc."

Hopefully not in that order, of course... ;)

adam lake said...

i played the crackdown preview, visually interesting but couldn't really get into it.

also played the lost planet preview as well. didn't seem to grab me.

unless i hear otherwise, i won't be purchasing either of them.