Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Too Human (360): I've Never Given Up On You

As of 11am Central Time (the time this post goes up) my good friend (and boss at Evil Avatar) Nick Puleo has this interview with Too Human creator Denis Dyack available in both MP3 and transcript form on both Evil Avatar and sister site Co-Optimus that Nick runs.

I proofread the interview yesterday and the first question obviously stood out for me.
Nick - So we'll start with the big one: Are we going to see Too Human this year?

Denis - Yes! Our Launch date is officially going to be August 19th.

Finally! This game is finally coming and it is coming pretty quickly in just over 3 months from now. I've always believed in Silicon Knights and Dyack himself. This is the 2nd game that has gone through multiple systems and delays for the company. Eternal Darkness did quite well (check out my review from Console Gold a long time ago that was actually featured on Silicon Knights website for a long time) and I always believed Too Human would be a great game even with the E3 2006 fiasco.

Reading the interview I come away with the belief that this is going to be a game that is going to surprise everyone. Nick told me when he came back from the MVP Summit a few weeks ago that he thought it looked awesome and looked very different from what he had last seen. I know many people out there have put this game on the back burner, but be prepared for it to go to the front burner and get red hot.

It is disappointing that there is only 2 player co-op instead of 4, but I think Dyack does a good job of explaining why they did this. It sounds like the character classes and the balancing of them in relation to speed was problematic. I'd honestly rather have a really well done 2 player co-op experience than a problematic 4 player co-op experience.

This game is also sounding like everything Hellgate: London wasn't when being compared to the Diablo games. It also sounds like the other 2 parts of the trilogy may be coming on the next Microsoft system, but I still have hopes at least the 2nd one would find its way onto the 360.

Just be ready for this game because I think it could be one of the greatest examples of a turnaround in gaming ever.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Unscorable Game

I worked long and hard on getting everyone together and edit all the pieces that turned into the Evil Avatar: Liberty City Diaries piece that was put together for posting last Monday. Some of my co-writers on the piece asked about putting a score on the review and I noted that this type of game doesn't deserve a score and we should just hone in on our experiences with the game. There weren't any people that went against what I said, but once the piece went up there were many forum users that were asking where the score was. Personally, I feel the GTA series as a whole is unscoreable (I made up a new word..woo!). There are other games out there that share this power (another recent one is Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii), but GTA is easily the most visible one.

The fact that 29 sites gave its top score to the 360 version and 20 did the same for the PS3 version simply shows that these games just cannot be scored. All of these magazines and online sites of course have to give the game a score, but really is it going to make any difference to the consumer? They're going to go out and buy GTA IV, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4 no matter what it gets scored. These games just rise above the review process. What strikes me as odd with both GTA IV and Brawl is how much people just default give it the top score. I haven't played Brawl, never really liked the series, but I have played GTA IV and it certainly does not deserve the top score. If I was to do an actual review of it for Evil Avatar I would most likely give it a 4/5 or 4.5/5. It has a lot of wonderful things in it, but there is also a lot of missteps that keep it from being the "be all, end all" of videogames.

I hated the last GTA, San Andreas, yet 30 sites gave the PS2 version a perfect score. Although it was the largest of the GTA games, I just didn't like some of the directions Rockstar North went with it. I would have scored it a 3/5 or 3.5/5 at Evil Avatar. The whole keeping CJ healthy (or not healthy if you're into that), which was a core mechanic to the game, was a total turn off to me as was the story itself.

Bottom line is why even give scores to these games? Why not just talk about the experiences you had and whether you liked it or not. I like what we did with the Evil Avatar: Liberty City Diaries piece and am glad we attributed no score to it (honestly it would be hard to equate 12 scores into one final score and people not fly off the handle about it). Maybe more places should take note and not score these games that are guaranteed to be picked up by the public no matter the score given to it. Why make a fool of yourself giving it your top score when you could easily give your reviews on the game with no score?

We're Back

Yep, it's been a while readers. As you can see the layout has changed a bit and I hope to finally start having more regular posts. On the right side is now the publications I write for as well as reviews of movies and games that I've been playing with links for those that are published. Any more questions, feel free to ask.