Sunday, 28 March 2010

PC closure

Back in December last year, I jettisoned my Blackberry mobile phone for an IPhone(my first ever Apple product). In very different circumstances, I now have a window(sorry couldn't resist) of opportunity to move away from PCs and buy my second Apple product, a Macbook Pro.

My primaries for choosing a Mac aren't based in the need to have a gaming machine. I want a break from PC and Microsoft based OS, need portability and from what I have read and seen, the Macbook Pro will suit my needs.

That's not to say that gaming on a Mac is totally out of the question as there maybe a few titles that come out on PC/Mac only format that I may like to try...maybe even the odd MMO...

*Youtube video note: This is not I but gives you an idea of possible gaming on a Macbook Pro, even if this is running on Vista OS

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Narrative is not a dirty word

Give me a good story, well told, and you'll hook me each and every time. Give me all this but add the illusion that I can change the outcome of that story, and I'll show you an excellent videogame experience.

Sure, if I was to raise the debate over whether videogames are just an excercise in button-pushing reactions and can't be classed as narrative, in the classic sense - then I'd be sure to be stirring up a hornet's nest of opinions. I know my view on what videogames could and can be and also what 9 out of 10 times they are, so let's not go there. I also know that gamers want the thrill of action and multiplayer over most other things in a new videogame title release. And that's fine, as there's a place for everything and variety in videogaming is always needed.

My personal hopes are that developers in the future don't neglect the balance of a well crafted story that dances side by side with action and adventure. With any luck, developers will listen to the likes of videogame design consultants like N'Gai Croal.

N'Gai made an insightful reference to the opening sequence to Bioshock 2(see EDGE issue 213 pg 156), wishing that the three minute cutscene was longer but also, that it were interactive. This example of possible gameplay would motivate the player to see out the full extent of a storyline, and their effect on it, rather than rushing on through, to blaze-a-trail onto the next combatic encounter. This was put into practice in Mass Effect 2, with cutscenes that allowed Shepherd to perform an action while an NPC was in dialogue mode. But I would like it to be put into far greater effect by developers and would mean that they wouldn't feel the need to rush a story or time limit a cutscene for fear of player boredom.

I, like N'Gai, maybe in a minority of gamers that want better involving storylines in our videogame titles, rather than a multiplayer element or destructible environments in the next Call of Duty clone. But I hope developers feel that there's much to be rewarded in developing new and better ways to tell and share a story with current and future gamers.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

HDMI saves my PS3 from indifference

A while back I had my PS3 infused with infectious and much needed joy by the release of Uncharted 2(winner of 4 Baftas). But I have learnt that I'd only been giving the Sony system only half the chance needed to impress me. Unfairly, I had been running it through a 32" 7 year old Sony CRT. With this overight now corrected, I have to say, what a difference a slight change of setting makes!

Moving my PS3 upstairs and hooking it up to a 24" HDMI monitor ala my current 360, has opened my eyes to the beauty of the PS3 and it's media. This has obiviously been helped by playing the recently released God of War III.

With the two gaming systems sitting side-by-side, using the same outputs, I will have a much better view of how system exclusives match up to each other in the future.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

I am ##error##

I've had a fairly quiet week with little time to commit to anything other than my 9-5.

I did catch some of the 82nd Oscars, on the back of which I made a few Blu-ray purchases - The Hurt Locker and Watchmen. Neither of which I have watched but the amusing time-travel observations of the former, made me grin - product placement over the historical sound? Why not...

Assassin's Creed II is back in my 360 drive, as I try to finish a growing number of 360 titles that I own or have been sent to review, now that I have completed Heavy Rain. Playing Ezio also ties in nicely with the prep. study I am making towards my 12 week course, Perspectives on Leonardo da Vinci, that begins in May. LdV is one of those characters from history that have fascinated me for a long time now. I still feel I know very little about him when you consider that the way his life's ambition seem to rest on trying so many different aspects. It'll be interesting to see how Leonardo the videogame character matches up with Leonardo the historical figure.

Later in the month I'll be attending the 'What Are Games Really Teaching Us?' event at the Dana center. I'll no doubt be taking notes/photos for a later post but if you intend on going yourself, I may just see you there.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

So you want to get to know me better? Or know what makes me tick, even?

Maybe you question doesn't fit with what I have been posting about? OK that's fine...drop me a question(which can be anonymous, if your feeling scared) over at my account and I'll do my best to give you a pack over lies honest answer. For the time being I have placed a widget in the sidebar for ease of use and will review the use ever now and again.

You never know, I may just make a post about one of your, hopefully, entertaining questions.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Origami in the rain

If we head back to 1982 a certain sci-fi noir movie, namely Blade Runner, had an oppressive dark and wet environment. I have been reminded of this movie, a number of times, as I have been 'playing' my way through the rain sodden chapters of Heavy Rain. But it's not just the rain theme that both these entertainment vessels swell with. The way Origami is used as a form of character-taunting and also character-defining moments in both Heavy Rain and Blade Runner, lead me to believe that David Cage must be a fan of the '80s movie.

In Blade Runner, the unicorn is the last of a series of origami figures that Gaff uses to taunt Deckard.

  Ethan Mars is tested with the aid of a number of origami figures created by the serial killer holding his son.

I've been trying hard to think of other movies or even videogames that uses the theme of Origami throughout but I just can't think of one - any thoughts?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Noticings, Blu-ray and ApocalyPS3

Yesterday was a bad day for the 'fat' PS3. But as the old saying goes, 'all PR is good PR' or is that just silly? Should I ask Ashley Cole or John Terry?

Now I own one of these PS3 models and have Heavy Rain waiting to be revisited. I'd also just decided to make the move into building a Blu-ray collection of my choice movies - I currently only own The Dark Knight & Dark City - and so ordered Blade Runner(Director's Cut) and Watchmen(Director's Cut) plus preordered Minority Report. To add to that, I have just been sent the Halo Legends and Dante's Inferno animated movies on Blu-ray to review. I was happily gearing this year towards being my first Blu-ray year proper when Sony decide to throw a small CPU bug into the mix. Luckily I didn't try logging into PSN or even turning on my PS3 yesterday but it does make one wonder what else Sony have overlooked. It's also made me consider buying a stand-alone Blu-ray player when I hadn't considered it before. Hmm.

Onto Flickr. I've been yearning to find a use for my account for a few years now and finally I think Noticings could end the yearning and also put my iPhone's camera to better use.

Noticings is a game based around your own photography posted to your Flickr account with uploaded photos being public and geotagged. The rules and scoring for Noticings can be viewed here and my first submission is here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Poetry retrospective #2

Happy St. David's Day!

Cut Along The Punk Line*

It was what was incomplete
It was your hate and nothing I could recommend
It was time to draw blood from teeth
It was the height of time suspended
It was time to lose those sheep
Just to follow me
It was me recommended.

*written between 1994 - 1996, unpublished.