Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GDC 2010: Monster Hunter Tri Preview

Even though I expected to have my brain stimulated at GDC, I couldn't help but feel a little overwhelmed by all the tech demos and game production software on display. I love checking out giant human hamster balls and emergent physics engines as much as the next person, but whenever I needed to get "grounded" again, I would head over to the Nintendo booth and relax on their couches that included a nice little demo of Monster Hunter Tri. After getting disemboweled by giant raptors a few times, I finally started to get the hang of it and BOOM; a preview was born!

Read: Monster Hunter Tri Preview

Bottom line: If you're a Monster Hunter fan, there's no reason you should skip over this.

Friday, March 26, 2010

GDC 2010: Darkstar One: Broken Alliance Preview

A couple weeks before GDC, I had the pleasure of watching the producers of Darkstar One: Broken Alliance demo the latest build of their epic space simulation for GameShark. Hardcore PC gamers out there might remember the original game from 2006, but this time around it's been optimized for the Xbox 360. Porting a nuanced PC simulation to a mouse-and-keyboardless system is always a tricky move for publishers, but from what I saw (and briefly played) here, Kalypso Media seems to be doing a solid job staying true to its source material.

Check the link, and let me know if you're one of the few that's dying to micromanage your galactic empire.

Read: DarkStar One: Broken Alliance Preview

Monday, March 15, 2010

GDC 2010: "Micro or Massive: It's Fricking Tough to Achieve a Vision"

This little summary of a panel I attended at GDC was supposed to make its way over to 1up's Chiptuned blog, but it ended up getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the conference and never made it past my 1up page. Usually, I'd just remove the post and hold onto it for later, but I so enjoyed listening to/talking with PixelJunk Eden creator/multimedia guru Baiyon and Uncharted Co-Lead Game Designer Richard Lemarchand that I couldn't help but leave it up on 1up. Even though I'm not entirely sure anyone read it, it's still one of my favorite things that I've contributed to the site. Funny how that works, huh?

"Hey dudes, do we have these boxes backwards?"

GDC 2010: Pocket Creatures First Look

One of the games I was able to spend a fair amount of time for 1up with before seeing it at GDC was Pocket Creatures -- an iPhone app created by one of the producers of Crysis that can be quickly described as the lovechild of a Tamogatchi and Pocket God. Even though I've grown out of my love affair with taking care of virtual creatures, I liked the way Pocket Creatures gave you a sandbox to play with that was extremely interactive and nuanced. If Asbjørn & co. can keep the content coming and the "wow!" moments flowing, this game could be a lot of fun for anyone who loves to have total control over the life of their creatures.

Read: Pocket Creatures First Look

Saturday, February 7, 2009

1UP's "The Grind" - Ar Tonelico II Problems

When I first started writing for 1UP's iPhone blog, I only had about two weeks of accomplishment before the tragic UGO/1UP merger that sent half of 1UP (a.k.a. EGM) packing. Because of this, it took me a little while to get truly "stoked" on my new digs, but I think it's slowly starting to set in. Yesterday marked my first post over at 1UP's dedicated RPG blog "The Grind" - arguably my most anticipated of the 1UP blogs due to my longstanding love of all things RPG - and I think things went rather well.

I started off my stint with an in-depth look at Ar Tonelico II and the myriad problems facing it. From a lackluster localization, to a handful of game-crippling bugs that cause freezes in some rather unfortunate places, the game came out a little rougher than intended. Even though NIS America's quality control hasn't been the hottest lately, I still feel that they deserve credit for being one of the few developers (and arguably the smallest) to put out JRPGs that would otherwise never see the light of day in the US. Let's hope they can bring the quality back to future releases, or else things are going to get rather hairy in the future.

Regardless, you should take a peek at the link below. It's a decent little post that will enrich your life beyond compare! Or, uh, it'll not suck as hard as some of the other stuff around here. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Read: Damage Control: Ar Tonelico II

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review

Keeping with today's abnormal burst of productivity comes my first true "review post" in quite some time, and it's a doozy. When I started out as an aspiring games journalist (and, conversely, an RPGamer) a little over a year-and-a-half ago, I always had the dream of getting a pre-release ROM of a Square-Enix game. Call it nerdy, call it silly, call it what you will; but I couldn't have been more happy (nay, proud?) when my editor Bill sent me a preview version of Star Ocean: Second Evolution for review. For that very reason, this game will always have a special spot in my heart, but luckily it's a good game too!

As much as I love RPGs, I can hardly ever find the time (or the energy) to replay them after sinking in 30-60 hours playing them to completion. With that said, my unsavory "tradition" looks to change with this one game. Second Evolution simply exudes replayability through its multiple characters and optional party members, and the game simply begs to be played "right" with a strategy guide by your side. And as such, I think I shall - especialy since my friend Dan put all his love into making the official guide a few weeks back.

Either way, it's a great game and a totally worthy successor to one of my favorite PSP RPGs of last year. Check, check-check-check, check it out!

Read: Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review

GameShark - Reviews

And now, for the reviews! As you can see, I was far from complacent throughout the latter half of 2008. And here are the links to prove it:
Wow! That's more than I expected. Feel free to check them out, and leave comments as you see fit!