Fez is Absurd - Go Buy it!

I honestly don’t know how Phil Fish, creator of

Fez, was allowed to release his game. It’s absurd, but in a great way. You remember Phil Fish right? The man who set the internet on fire with his comments about modern Japanese gaming?

I would hate to rehash what you may have already read or heard about the game, but do yourself a favor and don’t seek out spoilers.What the most recent Bombcast said is totally valid: If you plan on playing this game, try and get through the initial 32 cubes required to “beat” the game. After that the game changes. I can’t say what exactly, but the game does things I’ve never seen in my life. Sometimes it seems like this game was not fully reviewed before being released by Microsoft. The puzzles can be so obtuse and stretched that you WILL need the help of the internet to get everything. There are leaps in logic the game expects you to take. Not that this is a bad thing, it’s kind of a breath of fresh air.

The way games hold your hand through every little detail this generation, it’s surprising a game like Fez can flourish. Maybe we don’t need every element of the game spelled out in a quaint tutorial.

Like I said, I would hate to spoil some of the interesting things you’ll encounter in Fez, so go play it now on XBLA. It’s a fantastic game with an interesting concept, unreal music, and challenging puzzles. I guarantee it’s $10 well-spent.

On a side note, my wife and I met Fez’s creator at last years Fantastic Arcade held at the High Ball. It’s an awesome event where indie developers are in the spotlight for an opportunity to show off their creations to a large crowd of interested people. Phil was a nice guy that seemed genuinely interested in showing us his game. It’s crazy to think how much work has gone into these games for some of these developers.

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Deus Ex multiplayer

Because of the recent Steam sale I picked up the original Deus Ex, again. I couldn't believe it when I clicked on multiplayer and there were people STILL playing it. No joke.

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I just completed my Journey

Just finished up THATGAMECOMPANY's new game "Journey" for PSN.

The spoiler-free version of what "Journey" is about is simple: Your a guy trying to reach a light at the top of a mountain in the distance. No explanation is really given, but if you really pay attention, the "Journey" is pretty evident by the finale of the game.

I have to be honest and say the only games that have ever given me a similar feeling throughout the game are Team ICO's "Ico" and "Shadow of the Colossus" titles. They have an interesting serene feeling. They know when to be loud, but more importantly know when to be very quiet.

The inclusion of a Co-Op partner on your adventure is equally original. You never talk to them with your own voice. Rather, you simply communicate with a series of chirps your character can emit. I was drawn in even more this way. Among all the isolation, it's like you have a friend...it's bizarre. You aren't taken out of the experience by a 14 year old ignorant racist. It's a breath of fresh air for a game that weighs so heavy on atmosphere.

The game feels very short, but not in a bad way. It's a complete product and very worth the $15 price tag. I just want more games out there in the market like this.

I loved it, I really did. Go buy it on PSN now!

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I enjoy yelling at my TV!

So call me crazy...I know I'm not the first person to be unimpressed by certain Kinect features in games.

But I just started acting out the Mass Effect 3 lines out loud and I am totally being absorbed. The voice recognition is working fantastically. Am I the only one who is digging this feature?

Either way, it feels like I'm in my own space Opera. I'm sure my wife is having a tough time sleeping while I'm barking orders at my second in command.

Kinect feature ftw!

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PC Quick Hits

I had a little free time today and decided to download the new(ish) PC indie game the Binding of Isaac. This game really has the soul of Super Meat Boy, and rightfully so. It was actually done by 1 of the 2 members of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen. It is a great little game!

It’s also totally worth the price at $4.99 on Steam. I have literally been overjoyed playing the old-school Zelda hybrid SmashTV shooter. It’s simple, straightforward, and clever. I highly encourage everyone to check out the demo here.

On the other side of the spectrum, I just saw the new Tribes Ascend on Giant Bomb’s weekly “Thursday Night Throwdown” feature and thought I’d try it out. I had a great time with it. The mix of mid-ninetees shooter mentality and smooth aerial gameplay kept me interested. It’s only in Beta now, so I’ll be curious to see where the game ends up.

I get the feeling you will need to make some sort of monetary investment to really get somewhere in the game. From what I could tell, you level fairly slowly. It's true I could just suck at video games. I just got the feeling that the hours you would have to put in to get where you want is astronomical. Hey, good on them for putting out something like this for FREE to begin with. It's not like they are asking a lot from me.

Either way, I don't recall the "ski" feature being so prominent in older Tribes, but I think it's my favorite part of the game. It's almost as if you could get good enough with each level to never slow down. Once you know the best routes, you could just ski/jetpack/fall/ski/jetpack your way to each base. I enjoyed that mechanic. It seems like it adds another layer to an already different type of shooter than whats readily available today.

I feel I've made a good choice in building a PC recently...

The PC Games world has been so interesting to me because it feels so secretive. A vast majority of the games fly under the radar. That’s not to discredit them. I’m sure a ton of these games(like the ones mentioned above) are fantastic. It’s just different than the way the console gaming world works…it’s wide open and free.

I like it.

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Is First Person Shooter the best label for Half-Life 2?

As a makeup for my last troll post about Half-Life 2 being the best first person shooter ever, I decided to try and write why. The more I started thinking about it I started to compare it to other games in the genre and I got a little confused. It's not that it's not a great game, or one of the best games ever in my opinion, but is it a first person shooter?

Is First Person Shooter even the best term for Half-Life 2. I mean you DO shoot and IT IS from a first person perspective. But there is something completely different about the setup of the game. It feels more organic, more paced than other FPS's. Even now I can't think of a game in the genre that is paced in a similar fashion, can you? Your main goal gameplay is rarely that of a regular FPS. It never really feels like opposition is the key gameplay element.

It's as though the environment is what you play against, in most cases...sure there are firefights, but even in the midst of a crazy shootout, it's like you have control within the environment. (I don't know if that last sentence make sense.)

What I mean is the game is like a giant puzzle piece with narrative wrapped into each detail. There is not a whole lot of giant exposition blocks. There really isn't much forced story to speak of, but the world is by far the most engrossing place to be in. You can spend hours looking around different areas of the world, and it feels like detail went into each piece.

The gravity gun itself makes the game an anomaly. Half the time you are figuring out ways to manipulate the environment to get from place to place with the thing. I can't think of another instance where a key item in a game could alter gameplay so much that it forces you to think about things differently, rather than pepper them with bullet holes.

Although not really pertaining to Half-Life 2 so much, there is something oddly intriguing about the whole universe of Half-Life/Portal. Something so overarching that it makes each area of the game feel larger than life.

So what do you think, is Half-Life 2 a First Person Shooter? Or is it something else?

Are there any games that have a similar pace and feel? I would love to know.

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Scrolls vs. Scrolls

Is there anyone else that is bothered by how this Bethesda vs. Notch thing is playing out?

Bethesda has been my favorite game developer since making the best game off all time in 2002. Since then, they could really do no wrong in my mind.

It's funny this is actually bothering me so much. I know it's just business, but come on. This looks bad on them.

I would be interesting to know what Todd Howard thinks about all this. Is he for it, against it?

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Deus Ex has a good world

So I just beat Deus Ex: Human Revolution on my Xbox360. It was a great experience the whole way through. I almost wish it didn’t end. It really reminded me of a time when large open worlds WERE the main draw of a game. I explored every nook and crany just like I poured hours into doing with Morrowind.

Not to say that these games are similar, but what they have in common is the selling point for me: the world. Morrowind had a world that felt like it had a past and story. Deus Ex did too, and it doesn’t lose it at all with Human Revolution. It goes farther. The emails located in computers around the world alone make this game unique. It’s not just regular story emails, some of the them contain character development and fun threads about different people in the game. Exploring Deus Ex was very rewarding from a story point of view.

Even though the game’s open world was contained like so many other games, the developers went to great lengths to fill the world with characters, story, hidden areas, etc. It was fantastic.

So major props goes out to the developers for concentrating to create a living breathing world like the one in Deus Ex. You turned your game from an apprehensive purchase to possibly one of my favorite games of the year.

I am very excited about any possible DLC which is already on the way!

current top 5 of 2011:

-Portal 2

-Mortal Kombat

- Bastion

-Deus Ex

- Old World Blues: Fallout New Vegas DLC

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LA Noire is super good

it was been a long time since a game's aesthetic alone has made me fall in love with the rest of the package.
 
Don't get me wrong, Team Bondi's LA Noire is a great game. I really do love playing it. The narrative and interweaving story has had me playing for over a week now without getting even slightly bored.  But the setting, music, characters, etc. etc...I am in love. I already purchased the Rockstar Pass for all the DLC.. 
 
I may circle back once I complete the game for a full-fledged review on my bloggy.
 
I think it goes without saying, but this is a game for adults. It is a no nonsense, crime scene searching, hard nosed interview game. Not what I would call your normal bro-shooter. I know this game is something special for the following reason alone:  My wife is actually interested in it, because she enjoys the story. This is a very uncommon occurrence in our household...and I've tried all the classics, trust me. 
 

 listen to this...now
With that in mind, I wouldn't recommend this to MOST people I know that play videogames. I do know if your a fan of a truly unique experience, and you put a lot of weight into a deep story and developed characters, look no further.  This is, indeed, one of the first games that I have actually felt something for one of the characters...so bravo Rockstar!
 
Regardless of gameplay, the music alone is worth the purchase. I couldn't recommend this enough either. If your a fan on remixes of classic jazz, this is a great listen. 
 
 
Edit- Update: I finished the game. Wow, may I say, What a true to the genre finish. Bravo for not giving us a run of the mill ending.
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