[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

October 10th, 2010

A game that aimed to break the “Sonic Cycle” was released a few days ago… Sonic 4. I tested it out on the iPhone so far… might also try the PlayStation 3 version. And how was it…?

Well after playing Sonic World Adventure [Unleashed] I can see that Sonic was slowly getting back in his speed shoes… but we would all like to see more than just well made stages and great game play. We needed to see Super Sonic in game levels, flashing all the Chaos Emeralds in Golden Glory. Sonic 4 – Episode 1 brings this back to us and more depending on what you enjoyed about the classic Sonic games.

The concept was good. Bring the original 2D game play of Sonic back and continue the story from Sonic 3 & Knuckles… Which didn’t exactly happen yet…? If you haven’t noticed from screen shots the level designs and art style has been quite similar to that of Sonic 2. So I guess they can’t ruin anything by doing that… it does however for me make it feel that it wasn’t very original, but at the same time brings some nostalgia which is what Sonic Team wants I guess.

Though I played the iPhone version, the look and feel of the game was quite good. It was also interesting trying this version first, because we are so used to Sonic being a control pad game it seemed stupid if we were to play without buttons. I cleared the Final Stage and all of Episode 1 with Tilt Controls… I did attempt to use the touch controls at one stage for a more precise control, but there was no point since I was already used to the tilting.

Getting the Chaos Emeralds was a huge chore though as the bonus stage gets annoying with the tilting, I guess when you are used to playing Labyrinth type games it doesn’t really help. It is the same type of bonus stage across all the consoles… thought it does look like a rip out of Sonic 3′s check point bonus game, it works because we are tilting the stage… though I could have gone for a cooler new type of bonus stage but no big deal, we get Chaos Emeralds that work on something other than the Final Boss… [Oh how true that is... 36 Rings really?]

It’s good to see Super Sonic back. It’s still too early for a review though as this is the first episode of the game… Sonic Team are doing this so they can slowly reel back in those who were hurt by the Sonic Cycle and are confident that they will get Sonic fans to buy all the episodes this way. So far it seems to be working, it is mostly positive reviews from various sources…

August 4th, 2010

Wow… I played Starcraft II this week, it was released last week and well I have to say… it is beyond very good. Starcraft being a game that I used to play and owned on PC well is a classic, and this sequel kind of blows it all away. I was never a fan of Terran but I did enjoy this first release of the three part story of the game so far.

This won’t be a review on the game because I am not hardcore at the game enough at the series to be qualified to speak about the games specifics. However I will discuss a little on the success of this sequel… starting with some history. Starcraft the original was a game I used to play with my friends early high school years… back then my friends and I each went with a different race, I picked Protoss and the other two picked Terran and Zerg. I was probably quite average at the game, while one of the two friends became really good at the game. Eventually it wasn’t any fun to play against that friend at all… and the other friend kind of didn’t play that much anyway so lacked practice.

That didn’t mean the game wasn’t any good… just that Starcraft is one of those games that apart from the Story/Campaign Mode you’re supposed to play with other people to enjoy it. One of the other things that people could enjoy was Custom Maps with Use Map Settings. I met a few people Online on Battle.net back then who were really good at making Custom games… It was great, I also learnt a lot about making them myself… but one thing about this version is that the custom maps are really hard to come by, also the map editor is way too complex now… I think by the time you learnt how to use it and make really decent stuff with it, you probably could have created your own game, programmed it and released it and get paid for your work. Even though this map editor lets you make a game that is completely different to what Starcraft is meant to be, it seems like it is going to be a long while until we see something really interesting.

Before I even played the Campaign Mode, I actually hopped on Battle.net under a friend’s account. I played a few games as Protoss then logged off… the Online interface was quite confusing actually, I clicked around trying to figure out how it works and all of a sudden I was sent into a game with a random person that I didn’t get to select. Dark Templars made waste of the opponent but that could have been some newbie that just happened to play Starcraft for the first time ever from this release. There was no interaction or chatting involved with me and the other player. I felt that was a little poor. I guess it is hard to chat in an Real-Time-Strategy game, but Blizzard seemed to have removed the Online Chat rooms in the new Battle.net system… What’s the deal with that? Part of going online to play games is to interact with people you are playing with so you know they are human not just [Korean] bots. One of the things about the old chat rooms was that I actually met the people who made the cool maps that I was playing through them and became friends because of the conversations I was able to have with the players when not concentrating on commanding my units. You do get a small lobby to chat in before a game starts but nothing once the game ends…

Well let’s head offline… Oh wait you can’t… When you play the game, you need a valid Starcraft II Battle.net account logged in so you can play Single Player Story/Campaign Mode. The nice thing about this is, your progress is saved on a cloud system. So you can technically go to your friend’s house and play the game from where you last finished at home. The bad thing, well you cannot play under your account if you aren’t online. However if the copy of the game is activated, you can play offline under Guest Mode… there is three guest slots that you can play Campaign Mode under… probably so you can make different choices each time you play for a different story. Which is pretty nice especially if you know someone who has the game, and you only want to try it out… Ask them to come around and install it and play online a little bit to show you then you’ll have a copy of Starcraft II that you can play the Story/Campaign Mode/Vs AI Mode whenever you want. Oh and yeah, no Local Area Network Mode for Offline Multiolayer.

Now the game… Again I’d just like to say wow… I don’t think they missed much when it comes down to the essence of Starcraft. Unlike other franchises or sequels to games that I have played Starcraft II did not fall short or drop anything that maintain the Starcraft feel. I ran the game on my notebook at 1920×1200 with most graphics settings turned down so I would have smooth game play without compromise… the game still looked great. The interface was good and the way you are put through between the missions and menus looked and felt right. Though I did find annoying that the top row of tabs during game can sometimes get in the way of clicking on units and opens up one of menus occasionally. Overall the Game Play, System and Story was top notch. It is satisfying to play through along with the special extras that are available to the Single Player Campaign makes or gives the mode some replay value which is a nice touch.

That’s about it really… Unless you want to read some spoilers or weird things that I tried while playing… Continue?
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