Tribes 2 was and is an excellent multiplayer experience. While there are truckloads of multiplayer shooters out there, nothing comes close to the feel of Tribes. This is a game where you hurtle down mountains and fly across entire levels with your jet pack.
Tribes 2 also boasts an excellent soundtrack, but good luck finding a copy. Zero results on Google Shopping! Zero results on eBay! The distributor's site lists it as out of stock, and the composer's site looks like it's long been abandoned. There was no way to get it, but thanks to Ssential over at TribesNext.com, the soundtrack is once again available.
This may be old news to some, but Jordan Mechner's blog hosts a couple of PDF files that may be of interest to anyone looking for insight into the world of video game writing and their movie adaptations. Posted on his blog is the last draft of the "Sands of Time" movie screenplay before other writers altered it into the final shooting script. Also posted are scripts to the pre-rendered scenes in the original game.
I was just thinking about Myst IV: Revelation and how I couldn't think of another game quite like it. Sure, there are plenty of other adventure games with a focus on pre-rendered art assets, but the level of detail and interactivity in Revelation are amazing. Opening drawers and pulling levers requires clicking and dragging the mouse, causing a pre-rendered animation to play in sync with the speed and direction of the input. Tapping objects and the subsequent audio feedback also incorporates the player into the world amazingly well.
This new project seems risky. The original game was quietly received and didn't sell well, so I was quite surprised to see a sequel announced. Timegate seems to make games that twist the genre in unique ways and develop cult followings. Here's hoping that this next title earns a larger audience.
Finishing Mass Effect 2 a couple weeks ago, I immediately wrote down a few disappointments I had with the game on a slip of paper. The overall strengths of the game are pretty obvious and have been praised a hundred times over, so I copy these negative thoughts here.
Moving Normandy makes it feel small, light, like a toy Music
surprising lack of ME1 theme
few themes present in multiple tracks
disappointed ME2 theme only appears for act 1/intro and final act
feels more generic, less memorable melodies (counter ex. quarian and thane's theme)
too many "hey! remember me?"
Spectre reinstated (though limited), never mentioned again...
sometimes NPCs get a bit too chatty. Feel less like people, more like encyclopedias
"suicide" mission achievement for no deaths...
codex dump at beginning of game
Not the most developed thoughts, but that's what's on the paper. Looking forward to Mass Effect 3, the areas I would like to see improved the most is the franchise's portrayals of romance, sex, and gender. Maybe then I can have an easier time taking some of these characters seriously.
On a lighter note, the first game made such a huge deal about Spectres. The game opens with a Spectre's murder, another Spectre going rogue, and the player becoming the first human Spectre. Second game: what's a Spectre? Wouldn't it have been cool to meet another Spectre? You are on a mission to recruit the galaxy's elite, after all. Or they should have had a scene where Shepherd flashes his Spectre badge in the Terminus systems and some thugs just laugh at him. Garrus, I've a feeling we're not in Citadel Space anymore.
You and I have had a simple relationship over the years. I gave you money, and you gave me intangible, virtual goods that can be reproduced ad infinitum. Somehow, I feel like you're getting the better part of the deal, but no matter. I was happy with our relationship, our understanding.