Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Arts’

Gaming: Oh, how far we’ve come

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

One of these games is clearly more advanced than the other:




One of them has:

  • Open level design that rewards exploration with secrets and extra items.
  • Full use of the colour palette.
  • Action driven by the player, not scripted set-pieces.
  • Large numbers of enemies on screen that you fight by charging into the middle of them.
  • A varied arsenal of iconic weapons (which you can carry all of at once).
  • Creative enemy design.

Looking back now, it’s a little shocking now to think FPS games were ever as basic as they are in that second video. Can you imagine a time when developers ever thought it was a good idea to have large chunks of a level in a shooter where you’re not allowed to fire and have to wander around following NPCs talking at you, where you’re relegated to little more than the role of a bit-player? We’ve come a long way.


Gaming: March 2011’s Games

April 15, 2011 2 comments

On time for once (and coming straight on the heels of February’s), here we have the March round-up posts. This month we kicked off with the books I read and now it’s time for the games I played:

Squashing twelve separate images into a 425x90 image is kind of difficult. Its also incredibly time-consuming, comprable to the amount of time it takes to write the entire post. In fact I spend a fairly ridiculous amount of time assembling the images for each blog post.

Images sources: Conan, Donkey Kong, Benny, Trip, Kane, a wizard, Liu Kang, Tommy, Nathan, Randy and Father Mother.

I think I’ve got am okay system in place now for gaming, but I’ll cover that in the goals section at the bottom of this post. Let’s get straight to the gaming then:

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Gaming: Sims 3 Generations makes the right noises

Here’s the trailer for the latest expansion pack for The Sims 3, Generations:

In my opinion this is exactly what Electronic Arts should be doing with the expansions for the game. With previous expansions World Adventures and Late Night they made what I consider a silly mistake, and which I covered recently in February’s gaming round-up:

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Gaming: Dragon Age: Origins – Bloodbeard

April 2, 2011 3 comments

I’ve been sitting on Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition since Christmas (insert ‘not literally!’ joke here). It’s a game I’ve been really looking forward to playing but haven’t simply because it’s so long, by most counts clocking in at well over one hundred hours if you want to do everything (which I do), and I think that might not even include all the extra content that comes with the Ultimate Edition, including the Awakening expansion… thing. That’s longer than I sunk into both Mass Effect games when I played them last year and they took up two months of play time, and while I’ve slightly rejigged the time I spend playing games since then it still means Dragon Age: Origins could consume months, which I’m reluctant to do.

The obvious solution to that though is simply to not focus solely on the one game, giving this a day or two out of every four and playing other things on the other days. That does mean I could spend most of the year working through the game but I think that could make for an interesting experience, like when I jumped into the chunky Wheel of Time books by reading ten in a row and was immersed in that world for months. That’s assuming Dragon Age: Origins has a world I want to spend that much time in, of course.


Even if dwarves have some kind of great tolerance for heat it still can't be that pleasant to live beside a river of molten lava.

I might be racist against elves. I don’t what it is about them, but as they’re presented in the works of Tolkien and everybody who has been influenced by him (ie. most fantasy authors) I’ve never liked them. Immortal, aloof, usually quick to bandy about condescending phrases like ‘lesser races’, while also considered wise and fair and generally the best people in the world. Something about all that just rubs me the wrong way and I’ve always had an affinity for dwarves, who are generally the coarse, violent brawlers who usually also happen to be racist against elves (the same applies to orcs, who I also have a lot of fondness for but who often aren’t playable characters in RPGs).

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Gaming: February 2011’s Games

March 25, 2011 3 comments

I’m still catching up with these, but unless procrastination gets the better of me March’s posts will arrive promptly in April once I’m off work (so probably the 6th onwards). This month the first monthly review post will cover gaming (which was last in January), followed by television, film and ending with the month’s reading.

Double the faces this month.

Image sources: Predator, Grayson, agent, Donkey Kong, Harry, sackbot, Crazy Dave, Recette, vampire Sim and Woody

I’ve still not made any major alterations to my gaming time, still getting in just a couple of hours on non-work days, which meant I played games on sixteen days in February (the four days on, four days off schedule meant I only worked twelve days). I’ve had some thoughts on ways to rearrange my free time but that won’t kick in until March at least, so I won’t cover it here. Without further ado, here’s what I played:

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Gaming: Modern Shooters

March 23, 2011 2 comments

Full disclosure: In this post I’m critical of several games I haven’t actually played.

Follow! (Image pulled from the second YouTube video below)

The success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare elevated the franchise into a sales phenomenon and has encouraged rival publishers to chase after that success, but starting primarily from last year a major problem is beginning to emerge. Infinity Ward’s approach with the Modern Warfare games is to make heavily scripted, linear experiences that essentially put you into an action film, which means the developer runs the risk of making the player feel irrelevant, somebody to trigger the next scripted event and little else.

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Gaming Mass Effect 2’s Universal Appeal

December 19, 2010 1 comment


If the game detects a Mass Effect save then key choices from the first game alter the sequel. Presumably it's these choices that will be part of the motion comic that will come with the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2.

(Click the image for a link to the source)

Though the original Mass Effect did a lot of things right, few of those things were with the actual game sections. The combat was basic and rough, the sidequest environments were dull and generic, the interface was horrendously clunky and on the 360 it struggled to run at an acceptable level. Mass Effect 2 solves pretty much all these issues, as has already been detailed at length in the Second Coming posts on this blog (parts one, two and three) and for the most part won’t be covered again here. Any technical or mechanical issue from the first game has been improved, replaced or flat-out scrapped and the sequel is better for it, and where relevant Bioware have even done a good job of explaining most of those changes in-universe rather than just radically altering things and acting like nothing happened.

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