Archive for 2007
Wow, what a positive surprise!
I avoided downloading this until today, because it’s a fall block puzzle game. Such games are easy to make, there are tons of them, and the genre is notorious for being a dumping ground for poor games. This is definitely not one of those. Thankfully, I gave the free trial version a shot.
This is a polished up version of old arcade game that I’ve never played before. For those who are unfamiliar with this, here’s a brief description: It’s is a fresh twist on the traditional Tetris-style falling block puzzle game. You clear lots of blocks with various combos. The larger combos trigger punishment blocks on your opponent’s board. These moves are acted out by a humorous, on-screen, mock Street Fighter animation.
The game is really additive, very well balanced, it is really fun to play competitively, it’s got nice cleaned up graphics, game modes, and local and online multiplayer options. It also passes my girlfriend test (she rarely likes games) and some neighborhood children instantly loved it as well. We’ve had some pretty heated competitions already. One little nitpick is that the PS3 version doesn’t support voice chat, but it seems to have all the other options and online support you could want. Overall, it’s the best puzzle game I have played in years. This is exactly the kind of content I like to get for a $10 download.
Anyone else like or dislike this game?
Here’s a general chronology:
1: Lair was one of the first hotly anticipated exclusives for the PS3. The previews looked gorgeous. The game itself was somewhat of an unknown, but this was definitely one of the early “titles to watch” for the PS3.
2: The reviews bomb. Actually, bomb is probably an understatement. Most people would have been disappointed if this scored in the 8.0 range, and considered this a complete bomb at the 6.0 range, however many reviews were even well below that. IGN’s review ran with the title, “A sixaxis suckfest” (apparently, this was later edited out).
3: Sites such as EGM, despite giving Lair a low score, were gracious enough to grant the studio lead, Julian Eggebrecht, the opportunity to publically debate the reviewers. Mr. Eggebrecht claims that reviewers just can’t open their minds to appreciate the game’s non-traditional gesture control scheme. I don’t buy that, but whatever. It’s a noble gesture on the part of sites like EGM.
4: Eggebrecht and others at Factor 5 publically talk about technical and personal tragedies surrounding the development of Lair. These statements were made before the reviews, but still, this has gone from a disappointing game to simply pitiful.
5: IGN and several other sites are blowing the whistle on Sony regarding Lair. They suggest Sony is unethically trying to influence review scores by sending out colorful Lair brochures. Are we are supposed to be offended by this? Pathetic, yes. Pitiful, definitely. But unethical? Come on guys, it’s a color brochure.
IGN Mocks Sony’s Brochure
What are your thoughts?
Seems as though it’s style over substance with very little incentive to replay through it once completed, not to mention it’s very short. I still want to play it but I might wait until it’s pretty cheap, around the £20 mark, but it’s very disappointing that it’s so short and offers no reason to play through it again, after completion.
You may or may not know this, but I was a participant in the Warhawk beta. I enjoyed the game, sure, but the experience was woefully short-lived – the beta only lasted a month! So I finally got my Warhawk fix last night after having to wait for the game to come in the mail. Is it still good? Yup, it sure is. I decided to make some lists of things I like and don’t like about Warhawk on the PLAYSTATION 3:
What I like about Warhawk:
- Ground Combat
When I first heard that Incognito was adding ground combat to Warhawk, a flying game, I was like “What the…?” But it works very well, and it’s a lot of fun. You can run around, drive a jeep, drive a tank, or fly a Warhawk. And it’s all fun. If you want, you can choose to enter a dogfight-only game, if you really like the flying.
- Good Balance
Others have said it much better than I can, but I’ll mention it anyway. This game is very well balanced. You don’t feel like any particular weapon or vehicle has a huge advantage over everything else. There’s always something you can do with what you have.
- Nice Graphics
No, I didn’t say outstanding or fabulous or eat-my-blender-awesome. But they’re nice, and there’s nothing to complain about. One of the coolest things about MotorStorm is the long draw distances, and the same thing is true here. Warhawk has good draw distances and I have yet to notice any pop-in.
I find myself gravitating towards the Zones mode of play. Deathmatch (in any shooter) bored me a long time ago, and I rarely bother with team deathmatch anymore unless I’m just looking for a quick fix. But in Warhawk, Zones is the way to go. There’s strategy involved, which I like. I’m not a very good shooter player – my reflexes just can’t keep up. But last night I usually placed in the middle of the pack (as opposed to the bottom) because of all my flag captures. It’s very satisfying.
- Free Headset
I bought the game for $39.99Cdn, and it came with a free headset. That’s tough to beat.
- Splitscreen Support
I certainly can’t miss this one! Warhawk has great splitscreen support both offline and on. I just wish some of the text was easier to read…
I know it’s childish of me, but I like the fact that only PS3 users get this awesome experience.
Things I don’t like about Warhawk:
- Dying Without Warning
I don’t like flying happily along and then dying without warning. It’s no fun. If I get a lock warning, or I hear bullets flying around me, or something, then that’s okay. I just don’t like it when I have no warning or recourse whatsoever when I die.
- Status Updating
After I played last night (on Sony servers), I went to check out my stats and they weren’t there.
- Chat Quality
The quality of the voice chat in Warhawk isn’t very good. Could Insomniac please share the code they used in Resistance with everyone else? Please?
- Team Killers
It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I know it will. I don’t see anyway of punishing and removing team killers. It would be nice if there was a punish/forgive system whereby too many punishments gets someone permanently kicked form a game.
So there you have my lists. What are yours?