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In retrospect, the Wii has actually had a DAMNED good year.
Editorial by 
October 30, 2009, 21:55:18
Now that I've actually played the games.

I spent much of this year on 360 stuff, because I had just picked the system up. Also, many 360 games have more of a shorter expiration date, depending on online play as they do. Single-player games, I always figure I can pick up whenever (and I have too many games to HAVE to pick any of them up).

Anyway, with the embarrassment of Buy 2 Get 1 Free sales these days, I've kind of become... unhinged, just buying shit left and right. Wii Fit Plus, Muramasa, Grand Slam Tennis, Let's Tap, even Metroid Prime Trilogy (I'm a weak, weak man)!

I am loving the shit out of the games that I've tried so far (Let's Tap, Grand Slam, Muramasa). The Wii has had a really, really good year. An exciting year. An interesting year. It's really bringing the quirk. And I still haven't played A Boy and His Blob, Little King Story, or tons of promising WiiWare games yet. 2009 for the Wii has been a long, consistent run of excellent, bold software that doesn't fit neatly into genre definitions. It's a shame that 'hardcore' gamers still won't give it a chance. Perhaps it is exactly because that software doesn't fit neatly into genre definitions.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just a biased Nintendo fanboy, or whatever. But I don't give a shit about Forza 3. What I played of Uncharted 2 seemed tedious. And I love Ratchet and Clank, but I'm not really aching to play a sixth take on the same formula. The Wii is finally delivering a variety of quality gaming experiences, many of them completely unlike anything before. Now, we are not only just getting promising third-party games, we are finally getting third-party games that actually deliver on that promise. It's an exciting time, I think. If 'gamers' would only give the system a chance, I think it could have a really promising future.

On the other hand, maybe the advent of Natal and the Sony Wand will ensure that the Wii's bid for third-party gold won't come to fruition. On the other hand, maybe WiiHD will help. There are easily enough tentpole titles from Nintendo for 2010. Hopefully, third-parties can continue to fill the gaps (and are rewarded for doing so).

Also, New Super Mario Bros. looks to be the bee's knees.

Repurposed from my IGN thread. Yep.

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Posted: 10/30/09, 21:55:18    
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Especially since you don't do any real good anyway. What's the point of denying you some fun for characters and a world that don't exist ?

Well, what's the point of watching a tragedy? It could be cathartic


And that's what the director talks about, I suppose, when it talks about feelings he's never experienced before through gameplay.

Posted by 
 on: 11/05/09, 16:32:41
I actually have the same opinion, that I never want to see anything depressing or tragic, even though I feel that that's a pretty immature viewpoint that precludes a lot of well-made stuff. Once in a while, listening to, like, Ghost of Tom Joad or reading Jude the Obscure kind of hits the spot, but I would never initially voluntarily subject myself to something that will leave me feeling worse afterward. Or pay for the privilege.

Lots of people love depressing shit, though. Why not in game form?

Posted by 
 on: 11/05/09, 20:44:31
Eh, I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here, Simba. I know very little about Heavy Rain's plot because I don't want to spoil it for myself, but there seems to be lots of moments where you can screw up and which would affect your character dramatically. For instance, saving your kid from being hit by a car. If you save him, fuck yeah! The moment is made all the sweeter because you know you could have failed, he could have died, and you would have had to go on with your game/life. And I'm guessing if you fail, you can later perhaps redeem yourself, which could be a cathartic moment. But at this point I'm just guessing.

At any rate, I think Heavy Rain's got the potential to be a very powerful experience. Unless it sucks.

And I don't think having to live with your failure is gonna "deny you of your fun". I mean, there's basically no game over screen, the story just changes depending on how you're doing. But you keep going.

Anyway, here's a pretty in-depth interview with the writer/director I found today. Doesn't really touch on what we're talking about here, but it's an interesting (and long) read. As Nintendo fans you're bound to agree and disagree with a lot of what he says.

Posted by 
 on: 11/05/09, 21:10:29
Well, you don't have to. He does come off as pretentious. And for all I know Heavy Rain might end up being little more than the most expensive "Choose your own adventure" book ever made. I don't really know what to expect since I didn't try Indigo Prophecy.

For most games I too prefer the gameplay to do the talking, so to speak. But for adventure games, a genre I've always liked, I really don't mind sitting through dialogue. Granted, I usually prefer lighter, crazier fare like Lucasarts' stuff.

Posted by 
 on: 11/05/09, 22:31:16
I have played Indigo Prophecy. It was decent and storywise interesting (though everyone hates what it turns into at the end) but the actual gameplay was pretty choppy. Which is what I fear Heavy Rain will be. Actually, it'd probably still be worth checking out just for something different, but I don't think it'll be anywhere near GOTY material as some are already calling it.

I have to say though, when I actually saw the videos the dialogue was... eh. I also got a "THIS is what everyone is going nuts over?" vibe from it. I do think we are still in this sort of infancy of truely "mature" storylines and characters to the point where anything that even tries gets praised, despite the fact that in any other medium most of it would be generic and/or drivel.

Still, as long as it seems alright I'll probably check it out. Indigo Prophecy was one of those B-level games that was at least memorable for being different than other B-level games.

As for games provoking "negative" feelings, I didn't mind SOTCs sadness (won't spoil what happens, but man... tragic) but it never got in the way of the core gameplay being entertaining. In fact, as you (kind of) could predict what was coming, it added a bit of poignancy to your actions. Not that you had any real choices in that game anyway... you either went with where the story pushed you or stopped playing.

Posted by 
 on: 11/06/09, 05:52:52
There aren't many game writers who could also write novels, so anything half decent often gets blown out of proportion.

Jane Jensen is one of the few who can (loved Judgement Day and Dante's Equation). Of course she's barely a force in gaming since adventure games went out of vogue. Now they're back... maybe Telltale needs to get some episodic Gabriel Knight action sometime?

Posted by 
 on: 11/07/09, 14:05:09
I saw the interviews as well, and they d make it sound more intriguing, but... I just guess it really isn't for me. Not this go-round, anyhow. As anandxxx said, it just seems so "humorless." It reminds me of the drier parts of Shenmue as far as the "feel" goes...

Lots of people love depressing shit, though. Why not in game form?

That's true (not saying Heavy Rain is that or is going to be that, by the way!)

I dunno, I just cant really stand anything that even seems depressing or void of anything really "feel" good, you know? I don't mind a darker story or something more serious at all, but... I have a hard enough time in real life not being depressed at times. I might be able to deal with a less depressing story now that things are looking better, but leaving a movie theater or finishing a game in tears or wondering why I even exist just isn't my cup of tea.

I guess part of my problem with it is that it seems almost like writers feel like they have to do that to make a story compelling. Like, someone has to die to make the story moving or entertaining at all at times. Sure, it shouldn't be devoid of death as that's a natural part of life, but... geez, I don't think I know where I'm going with this now.

Got off on a weird tangent there, my bad. (^__^ )

Posted by 
 on: 11/07/09, 17:08:35
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