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The Art of Remember Me reveals many interesting development ideas that it truly makes one wonder why other game studios don’t put this amount of thought into game design. One I found particularly interesting was the reason behind the developer — DONTNOD — choosing a futuristic, dystopian Paris as a setting. It’s a simple question with a not so simple answer. The answer (which I won’t spoil) is surprisingly refreshing and shows that DONTNOD’s creative staff were very thorough in its thought process.
In distinct and direct contrast to the slop fest that is Transformers: Dark of the Moon comes SEGA’s Captain America: Super Soldier, an actual good high budget pseudo movie game tie-in. The $49.99 title is fun, action-packed romp that does a good job of capturing Steve Rogers’ WWII adventures despite a few hiccups.
So how well does Captain America: Super Soldier hold up though as a “movie” game? Pretty well, surprisingly enough. The visuals are super crisp and very detailed, from the low-level enemy grunts to how light reflects so perfectly off that iconic shield. The only visual that threw me off was Cap’s eyes: he has beady, black eyes that really give you a sense of the Uncanny Valley when the character isn’t in action.
It’s amazing how feature-packed and luxurious gaming headsets have become.
Not to date myself, but in the early morning years of my youth, a gaming headset was something that only PC gamers used, and unless they were “ballin,” it wasn’t much more than a cheap pair of headphones with a microphone attached. Time and technology, however, have dramatically changed the gaming headset landscape. Not only have features and designs improved, but prices have soared to almost ludicrous heights.
Oh my yesteryears, how I miss you so. I’m dating myself, but I remember when Jet Set Radio was a 2000 Dreamcast release. My 17 year old self fell for the bright colors and distinctly Japanese urban vibe. We got to know each other very well.
Fast forward to today. SEGA no longer makes consoles, we have a black president, and I’m a more mature and discerning gamer. Plenty has changed, so when SEGA announced that it would release an HD update of its iconic and much-beloved JSR, many questions arose. Would there be changes, however slight, to have it utilize contemporary gameplay design techniques? Would SEGA simply slap a HD filter on the game and call it a day? Would it hold up after 12 years of nostalgia? Walk with me, as I have many things to tell you.
I’ve already confessed my undying loving for rhythm shooters with Rez, Child of Eden, and most recently, Dyad. All of those games take gameplay and forge it into music. Shots, bombs, and hooks become blips, bleeps, and bloops of a musical track that’s enchanting, mystifying, and very electronic sounding. Now there’s a new love to add to my list and it’s a different take on the genre. It’s a game called Symphony.
Everything about this game is based in rhythm. The enemies come in patterns that allow you to keep a certain pace, every sound you make affects the music ala REZ, and even the colors of the menus change at a very specific pace. It’s this underlying rhythm that sets the pace for the entire game. It’s hard to notice at first, as the entire landscape is spinning around and colors are flashing, but once you slip into the groove, the entire game becomes hypnotic and has a trance-like effect. Every stage begins to blur together into one long color-melding experience where interaction and visuals meet.
I like pirates and ninjas and warriors of all kinds, but there is something decidedly off-putting about Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat. It’s hard to finger at first, but then it hit me: the title requires prior watching of the television show the fighting game(s) come from. But after some play time with it, I realized the game (along with the show) lacks the fantasy that we’ve all grown accustomed to when thinking of these character archetypes. The realism makes for some truly boring fights.
I’ve seen some interesting gear since taking over the hardware duties at 2D-X. Some have been excellent (Street Fighter X Tekken Fightstick Pro), some have been god awful (HKS controller). The $19.99 XJacker PS3 kit and the $29.99 Soniq Rush 2.0 (a headset adapter and amplifier, respectively) falls somewhere between. The the pair, in unison, lets gamers turn any headset into a PS3 headset with ear-wrecking volume, but clunky setup issues somewhat mar the experience.
It seems that no matter what third-party controller manufacturers do, they always overlook a particular element that makes a gamepad successful. Granted, that little something differs from controller to controller, but more often than not, there’s spice missing from the secret sauce. The new Thrustmaster F1 Wireless Gamepad Ferrari 150th Italia Alonso Edition isn’t perfect, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the other racing controllers we’ve seen (I’m looking at you HKS controller).
Memorex, owned by Imation, has come to CES 2012 with a nice-sized handful of gaming accessories mostly targetting Nintendo consoles. The more interesting 3DS product was the Universal Game Selector. It attaches directly to the 3DS and allows for instantaneous game switching via a slider on the rear. The entire unit is sits on the back and holds 3 games.