tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

Bet you saw this coming a mile away

After 3 or so hours of playing, the best thing that I can say about Sonic Unleashed for Wii is that it’s not terrible.

It’s just unrelentingly bland.

No, I don’t really feel like going into detail right now. Maybe tomorrow.

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Disappointment beckons

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/games/mirrors-edge-review.ars

It looks like my worst fears about Mirror’s Edge might have come true – great platforming mechanics hobbled by substandard level design. The best I can hope for is that the PC version comes with some sort of map editor so that the community can pick up where the developers seem to have failed.

In other platforming news, Sonic Unleashed arrives next week. I’m still not sold on the game, given that long sections of the speed part of the game seem to be on autopilot (or something very close to it) and that the Werehog sections are basically all the platforming bits that SHOULD have been in the main game mixed in with a pale imitation of God of War.

At the very least the sidescrolling parts of the regular levels remind me a little of Sonic Rush, although dumbed down – the level design is a good deal simpler, lacking for instance the multiple routes present in Sonic Rush Adventure and replacing the trick system with (of all things) QTEs.

I actually have a lot of things to say on the subject of Sonic Unleashed (as you might suspect) but it’s almost 1am so I think I’ll save that essay for another time.

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Review: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

As some of you may know, Bioware has been developing a DS RPG set in the Sonic universe for Sega. The game, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood was much anticipated by the fanbase, seeing how it was developed by a studio known for its expertise in developing RPGs on PCs. Well, the game is out in North America as of yesterday, so how is it?

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Convention Tales

I spent most of the day at PAX today, since I’d never been to a gaming convention and there were a few games I wanted to check out. I actually didn’t get to play too many of them (the lines were way too long for me to be standing around) but I did get a reasonable idea of how some of the games I’m looking forward to are shaping up.

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Terminally cynical

I suppose I am, at least when it comes to Sonic games. I honestly believe that my cynicism is justified, though.

There’s an old Tamil proverb, a personal favourite of mine, that can roughly be translated as “If you endeavour to do something, do it such that everyone will praise you; or you are better off not doing it at all.”

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FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, SEGA

WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING SHIT LIKE THIS

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Have you learned NOTHING?!

This stupid thing makes the werehog look awesome in comparison, seriously.

It’s times like this that I wish I drank alcohol, so I could drown my sorrows in it.

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I don’t know why game designers keep doing this

I’ve been putting time into Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition as part of my attempt to clear my backlog (so I can get some new games). I’m near the end of the game on Normal mode, and one thing has cropped up that has me a little confused. Namely, why the developer is making me re-fight old boss battles.

Mission 18 has you wander through a maze worthy of Escher, fighting bosses that you fought previously in the game. You don’t have to fight all of them (although you do get a blue orb fragment if you do). However all of these bosses aren’t any more challenging than the first time you fought them, and indeed don’t exhibit any new attack patterns or moves that you need to deal with.

It’s far from the only game that does this, though – the original Devil May Cry does this as well, in spite of already making you fight the Phantom, the Griffon and Nero Angelo multiple times each (although to be fair, they do have new attacks with every successive encounter). Okami does this too, making you fight all the major bosses before you can proceed to the endgame (and since your character has obviously gotten a lot stronger since you last fought them, they roll over and die pretty easily). And of course, one of the main complaints about Devil May Cry 4 is how it makes you backtrack as Dante to fight the same bosses again, and then has you fight them all again as Nero at the end of the game.

If anything this smacks of laziness in game development. It’s not a Capcom-exclusive thing, either – Dimps made you fight every single boss again at the end of Sonic Advance 2. Are game developers just too lazy to think of new ways to challenge the player near the end of the game?

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