Thursday, October 7 2004
Viewtiful Joe is not unlike the silly Schwarzenegger bomb that was Last Action Hero in its premise. But look deeper, and you'll find that it has a lot more in common with Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the video game, which follows much of the action-oriented plot of the battles between Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus, fails to include this theme of personal and ethical crisis in the narrative.
Astro Boy as a mythology is apparently a metaphor for race relations, with robots being despised by some humans and championed by others.
Wednesday, September 22 2004
It was certainly the kind of show that openly invited believers and skeptics to tune in and enjoy. And one would think that such a terrific show would be a goldmine of ideas for a video game spin-off, no? Well, yes and no.
The more cars you wreck, the higher your points and more cars you unlock. That's it. Death and destruction is rewarded, and it's a bloody good time!
Wednesday, September 8 2004
It's all very '60s-like in its undying optimistic themes of naiveté through pop tunes and dance.
Far Cry was designed not just to look good; it actually aspires to beauty. Taking advantage of the technology to display more than the grotesque is a bit of a startling shift for the genre.
While DVision isn't exactly a news source, it's surely enlightening and brings many political issues to the table.
Thursday, August 26 2004
There have always been developers interested in alternatives. Not just to develop alternative genres, such as puzzle games, but alternatives within the mainstream brands identified with excessive gore.
Sega Bass Fishing Duel brings all the thrills of the sometimes laid back, sometimes furious sport of bass fishing right to the PlayStation 2. Plus there's no muss and no fuss.
Wednesday, August 11 2004
Restraint in a lawless world is hard. Cops have to tangle with folks that have total freedom of action every day, and they need to do it the hard way, the frustrating way. They have to follow the rules even though they get to carry a gun.
In a market where movie tie-ins are about as common as McDonalds (and, usually, just about as satisfying), it's almost a surprise to see a game that captures the spirit of the original movie well enough to be considered as good as the film.
Offering 'rough, rugged, and untamed back roads,' this game brings together extreme and racing sports under the larger virtual project of destruction and mayhem.
It's not hard to see where Onimusha's inspiration lies. Maybe you've heard of a little franchise called Resident Evil, or perhaps you've even played the other Capcom franchise known as Devil May Cry.
As technology advances, so does the graphical capability of video game consoles. One look at Ninja Gaiden and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time demonstrates this to even the most stringent detractor. However, realistic graphics doesn't necessitate quality gameplay, and one must also remember the converse.
Wednesday, July 28 2004
The thing about playing classic games is that, for most of us, the real appeal is in recapturing a piece of earlier days.
It is commonplace within all war games to see an erasure of death, blood, or the violent consequences of smart bombs on humanity. Pandora Tomorrow takes this to a new level by encouraging critical thought and creativity while battling terrorists.
Thursday, July 15 2004
This sort of tired and hackneyed plotting and game play is exactly why the B-movie comparison must be made.
When longtime gamers stop caring about the classics they grew up on, it becomes quite clear that most studios no longer care about how much fun you or I have (or even if their ideas are original), but rather about the green we're willing to shell out.
Videogame producers, and Nintendo in particular, thrive on nostalgia. For example, virtually all GameCube-exclusive games of any merit are from licenses which entered the videogame world two decades ago.