Has there ever been a game with dialogue quite as tongue-in-cheek as Borderlands? Possibly, yes. But I didn’t play it. I played Borderlands, a first-person shooter/RPG developed in 2009 by Gearbox Software for the PS3, Xbox 360, and the PC.
You may remember commercials or advertisements for this game last year, or heard about how the big thing with the game was that it had “millions and millions of guns!” This is kind of true: Borderlands is, control-style aside, a Diablo-clone. The basic premise of the story is that you are one of four mercenary-treasure hunters (they have names, but really you’re just picking your class) on the near-barren world of Pandora, guided by a mysterious woman in your search for the Vault- a hidden repository of alien technology that could give a huge power boost to whoever claimed it, and make your character filthy stinking rich. Your method to finding the Vault involves, well, shooting everything in your way. And when that doesn’t work, you shoot it some more. And if that don’t work, you shoot it some more. View full article »
Come and listen to a story ‘bout a fella named Cole. A bike messenger, and that’s his story all told. Until one day he ran a red light, and out of his package came a loathsome sight.
A bomb, that is.
Explosions. Thousands dead.
Well the next thing you know Ol’ Cole is in a crater, skin all burnt like he’d been hit by a taser. The city blames him and the gov’ment quarentines, but ol’ Colerino’s got some tricks up his sleeves.
Superpowers. Electric Man.
Now Cole’s a superhero in an open sandbox, and he just wants to figger out “what the heck is the plot?” There’s FBI and NSA and gangs there to fight, and it’s up to the player if it’s “Might Makes Right.”
Karma meter. Hero or Anti-
In Suckerpunch’s inFamous!
If that poorly written parody of a classic theme tune didn’t clue you in, inFamous (by Sucker Punch, of Sly Cooper fame, and the last of the three independent Sony studios to make the PS2 > PS3 transition with an original property) is the story of an ordinary man given electricity superpowers and told go run errands in a Grand Theft Auto style sandbox, and of the three “superhero sandboxes” (Crackdown and Prototype being the other two) it is by far my favorite.
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When the first Monster Hunter released on the Playstation 2 (September 2004), I was still employed at Gamestop. Because I was employed at Gamestop, I couldn’t actually afford the game. I remember that Capcom’s action-RPG looked interesting, but Katamari Damacy was only $20, and so that got my money instead.
Fast forward five and a half years later, when I came across a news post on The Escapist informing that Monster Hunter Tri (or Three) was going to be released for the Wii with a new Classic Controller Pro bundle. “Monster Hunter?” I said to myself. “Are they still actually making those games?” And then I reserved the game because it was the only way (at the time) to get the CCP and I figured, hey, might as well get some random game while I was at it. The game released in May.
Three hundred hours later, I emerged blinking from my game room to realize it was now early September. “Holy crap!” I said to myself. “What the heck just happened?”
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It takes a certain type of gamer to play Demon’s Souls, a 2009 action-RPG released by AtlusUSA and developed by From Software (also known for their Armored Core series) for the Playstation 3. According to my friends, that type of gamer is “crazy.” It’s easy to see why: Demon’s Souls is an unforgivingly cruel game that has no qualms with one-shot killing the player, stealing their entire currency, and dumping them back at the beginning of the stage with all the monsters respawned as punishment for having the audacity to fail. There’s no mini-map, no difficulty settings, no help at all save for a tutorial (which kills you at the end), a smattering of messages left by fellow gamers as hints (or wastes of time), and the occasional ability to summon another player to your individual world in the hopes of staving off death for another hour. View full article »