Compared to Sony's baby crying, head scratching PS3 advertisements the new ones are a work of art. The mix of nostalgia and hidden elements make this advertisement a lot more fun than it should be. With PS4 only a month out I hope that Sony continues to do great ads like this one.
While I was in highschool I had a Nintendo 64 and never got to play the original Metal Gear Solid until I owned a PlayStation 2. However from the moment I put that disk into my console I was hooked. The story, presentation and gameplay were all top notch for the time. The voice acting was also leagues ahead of anything else heard at the time, I remember my friend and I were in awe with the voicework for Snake and Ocelot during their first duel. And while some things haven't aged well (character models), the game still has some of the best story and twists in the entire franchise.
Mixing biology lessons, nuclear deterrence theory all while in the backdrop of trying to stop a terrorist attack Metal Gear Solid was a game that set the standard for cinematic games that perhaps only Metal Gear Solid 2 was able to surpass.
Happy birthday Metal Gear Solid! The best is yet to come.
I can hardly believe it's already been 20 years since the release of Secret of Mana. One of the first coop action-rpg games I played with friends and family. I remember the first winter we spent grinding spells and weapons all for the additional points of power. While I never had a multitap, the idea of playing 3 players was something I always wanted to do.
Featuring 3 distinct characters (although they all used the same weapons) the Secret of Mana's mix of fantasy and technology worked. The globe trotting adventure featured Cannon travel, a sandship, killer rabbites and even Santa Claus. The Thanatos fight remains one of my favorite boss encounters due to the remixed theme music they played. And the opening alone (music embedded) was worth the price of admission.
Definitely one of my favorite SNES rpgs, I recommend anyone who hasn't tried it to give it a shot.
I'll admit after the brilliant Giantbomb quick look of Euro Truck Driving Simulator 2 I downloaded the rather lengthy demo from the official webpage and played it for quite a while. They don't sound like a very entertaining game yet, somehow when I'm playing everything just clicks together for a rather calm experience (well except those extra heavy loads that can really unbalance your truck when turning). As crazy as it may sound my friends and I were talking about how Euro Truck Simulator 2 was a mix between Shipping Wars and Need for Speed.
Yet after doing a bit of research I found that these simulators have a huge niche appeal. As a kid I remember playing Microsoft Flight Simulator for hours at a time at a friend's house. Sure the graphics were primative yet somehow there was no game experience like it. Flying, landing and seeing the rather authentic simulation of how to fly a plane was amazing as a kid. Here I am years later driving a 16 wheeler across Europe to deliver loads of potatoes before I run out of gas in the middle of a rainstorm.
"There are kids 8-12 playing the games - players who are not yet into FPS or other core genres, but are captivated by the idea of driving these big vehicles. I guess every boy at age 7 or so wanted to drive a cement mixer or garbage truck or something similar,"
And then there's the strong 35+ male audience -- "basically people who have some professional, or should I say emotional, ties to trucking or transportation industry typically," Sebor notes.
Goofy, underrated and yet somehow very enduring to me I'm glad that games like these still exist in today's post Modern Warfare world.Now if you don't mind I have some cargo from London to Leipzig that needs transport.
Another year down, a time to reflect on the games I've played this year and come up with some of my favorites for the last year. 2012 was marked by the launch of the Vita and Wii U, the decline of the military first person shooter genre and perhaps one of the weirdest console transition periods in recent memory.
The 3DS finally came to life with a great lineup, while the Vita launched strong but held no momentum. The PS3 and 360 saw their fair share of releases but none of the exclusives really grabbed my attention.
A quick legal note, I need to mention that I work to Electronic Arts but these opinions are my own and do not reflect the company in any way.
In a world of tight corridor filled military shooters, Far Cry 3 stands far above them with its open world approach. The transition from confused weakling to jungle badass is gradual yet empowering. My only gripe is the story never reaches its full potential after a shift in plot when reaching the second island.
Sleeping Dogs troubled development cycle sounded like the game would be a disaster yet when I reached the end of the game it quickly became one of my favorites of the year. The emphasis on melee combat help it to stand out from so many other open world games and the Arkham Asyulm-esque combo system works so well when mixed with the brutal takedown objects.
In an industry obsessed with instant gratification and explosions, the slow and methodical nature of The Walking Dead stands out that a strong narrative experience can trump even the largest of explosion laden scripted sequences. Featuring some of the strongest and well developed characters this year, watching them change over the course of the year and how they would react to my decisions was a joy.
My current favorite Vita game, Gravity Rush was a beautiful 3D adventure. While the story feels rushed near the end, the mysterious world and excellent soundtrack more than made up for its shortcomings. While the manipulation of gravity takes some time to get used to, gliding around and defeating enemies felt great.
The first game shown for the 3DS made its long awaited debut this year and it delivered in spades. Featuring an excellent story mode and some of the best character banter this year between Pit and Paulentena. The only issue I had with the game is I never felt the on foot control scheme worked well for me making the platforming sessions a pain.
I never though a fighting game would make any of my best of the year lists but Persona 4 Arena had the right mix of fan service along with a fun fighting engine. I cannot emphasize enough how much auto combo helped me a lot in the beginning as I learned how to play and master the combos.
It's all about the journey in Journey but that's all that needs to be said about it. A short game (and why its not higher on my list) Journey has the user experience a wide variety of emotions in scenarios in its limited time. Highly based on the multiplayer by interacting with other users the ending is something that needs to be experienced to truely appreciate this game.
LittleBigPlanet returns on PSVita and feels just a fully featured as its console counterparts. Featuring excellent use of all the Vita's features LBP Vita is another excellent showcase for the console.
The controversial finale of the Mass Effect series was still a solid game. While many unnecessary oversimplications were made to the exploration side of the game, the shooting side was vastly improved and battles flowed a lot better than before. Also seeing the final results to many overarching plotlines felt like they had a nice payoff versus the ending to many other series this generation.
The perfect game to show off the power of the Vita it's a portable Uncharted adventure. It captures the feeling of its bigger console cousins very well and while not every touchscreen command is welcome, the other gameplay systems are copied so well that it was my favorite Vita game until Gravity Rush.
The game that divided the Zelda community celebrates its 10th birthday today. While it took a while before I played it, it was still classic Zelda at its heart. Well, except the Triforce hunt in the second half. That was just bad.
Vice City currently remains my favorite Grand Theft Auto game. So far nothing has matches the mix of open world, scenario, characters, music and gameplay. To see so many tweaks just 1 year after GTA 3 was amazing. I've got to play it again this holiday.
With the WiiU around the corner it's time to remember the creation of one of the industry's greatest game changers: the Nintendo Wii. I remember back to the Nintendo E3 2006 Press Conference and was blown away but what a incredible chance they were taking. And yet, while it seemed so crazy, it showed so much potential for shaking up how we would play games.