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Posts Tagged ‘game review’

My holiday weekend was less than stellar, mostly because I was on-call and got several alerts on several nights during the wee hours. Grrr.

However, it was not without some good. One of the high points was a new game: Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games) which is available for the PS4 (currently on sale for about $40).

HZD is an open world, third-person POV, quest-structured game along the lines of the Far Cry or Elder Scrolls, but in my opinion HZD is far and away superior to those others and primarily for one single reason: the writing. (more…)

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This past weekend, still recuperating from a kick-your-teeth-out head cold, I didn’t have much energy for anything beyond breathing, so I figured maybe I’d play Valley, the new game I’d purchased. Aside from that, my one major expense of energy would be to accompany my wife (who had also succumbed to the Killer Cold) on an errand to the mall. The mall is one of my least favorite places, but I managed to muster enough oomph to assist her, and I’m glad I did because whilst there, I was able to try out the Oculus Rift.

These two items — Valley and the Oculus — pretty much peg the spectrum of gaming costs. At an online sale price of $8, Valley was a superb bargain, while the Oculus headset rig ($499) is about as dear a peripheral as you can find, especially when you factor in the current requirements for both a high-end gaming PC (the model I used in the demo was $1499) and the Oculus Touch handsets ($99/pair).

Now, there’s no frakking way I’m going to plunk down over two grand for a gaming peripheral. Ain’t gonna happen. Nuh-unh. After spending ten minutes under the VR headset, though, I was tempted. Sorely tempted.

On the other hand, my expectations for a video game that costs eight bucks were low. Very low. Like, I expected to be bored within an hour, low. That didn’t happen, proving that even my jaded sensibilities can still be wrong. (more…)

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Because A.J. wanted a follow-up…

KRAG’s Law of Hype Lensing:

The Perception of an Object is distorted by the sum of the object’s anticipatory Hype and the engagement level of the observer’s Imagination.

The hype for No Man’s Sky was intense. As if three years of visionary promises and a truly groundbreaking approach weren’t enough, when Sony opened up its gargantuan wallet and bet its money on Hello Games — a tiny, 15+ person development company with only a cheesy little platformer app to its credit — all speculation was punched into warp-drive.

Usually, in such situations, I see the hype for what it is (i.e., marketing) and my Imagination compensates, essentially canceling out the effects of Hype. This way, when the game is released, it’s pretty much as I expected and disappointment levels are kept to a minimum.

In the case of No Man’s Sky, however, I made a tactical error. I figured that a small, independent company like Hello Games, run by a plucky band of earnest boys and girls from Surrey, would not yet be infected by the callous, avaricious cancer of corporate greed. I took them to be sincere lovers of games who were trying to be transparent about plans and features.

My bad.  (more…)

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On Release Day, I spent a few hours playing No Man’s Sky.

It’s not perfect, but damn, it’s close. (more…)

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I am that rare thing, that forgotten demographic, that chimera of the gaming world.

I am a guy with an Xbox Gold Membership and an AARP card.

‘Struth. Even though my twitch-muscle response time took a nosedive during the Reagan administration, even though I often win the FIFO award during multiplayer gaming sessions, I still enjoy a little mayhem now and again.

The First-Person Shooter is my go-to genre in gaming, and as such, I’ve followed several of the big franchises over the years. This year saw long-awaited releases for three of them: Halo, Gears of War, and BioShock. I’ve played them all, now, and I am therefore qualified to say that there’s only franchise that did it right.

Now, since I am Old Man Gamer, my yardsticks are not the same as those freshly minted TwitchMaster 2000 players. While I appreciate the diverse weaponry and multiplayer modes and splatter-factors, I put greater weight on story line, set design, innovative gameplay, character realization, and what I call the Immersion Factor. I also care about how women are portrayed in video games, not because I’m a prude, but because I’m just sick and tired of females only existing in video games to up the titillation quotient.

So–assuming I haven’t lost you completely at this point–my findings.

(more…)

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