Thursday, July 17, 2008


Okay, I know BioWare was founded by a couple or more of game enthusiasts who had professional career going as medical doctors, so, for long time, I've had this image of two bald, glasses wearing mid- to late-50s men donning white gowns grinning in front of computers. Well, I apparently showed a clear case of stereotyping, again; one of the founders of the company, interviewed in 1 UP Show (of below shows he clearly doesn't fit my idea. Rather, he looks like an average gamer who seems to be interested in the young interviewer.

Never mind mediocre-looking Halo Wars, but when they talk about on BioWare's past smash hit, Mass Effect, I had to say a few things:

First, Mass Effect's romance subplot is not even average-rating story. It falls short of being a decent one, even.

That said, Mass Effect's main story is also nothing great. Far from it. (Really, the whole plot is really short and really, really straightforward.) Rather, the strength of the game is in the world, and its mythos. The real enjoyment came from learning about its really well thoughtout world and setting by reading codex and listening to dialogues.

That brings me to another point: the dialogue system, contrast to what tons and tons of reviewers exclaim, is nothing to go crazy about. It is the same old dialogue tree! But it did do a good job at letting player customize the tone of the game with it.

Anyways, that was my quick two cents on the game. Now, hope you enjoy the video.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally, Something To Look Forward To

All three major E3 press conferences came and gone, without any major new title announcements to get excited about; pretty much they focused less on hardcore game titles, but more of casual market and community experience. Because I was anticipating a megaton announcement of some title that will instantly grab my attention (something like a new IP on par with Assassin's Creed), it's obvious that I was very disappointed with the whole calmness--FFXIII360 isn't really a new title, and although there are several games that I am looking forward to (namely Mirror's Edge, for one), they're not the "exclusive killer app" I'm looking for.

However, that expectation was actually met just now, by a title that was long been announced: Prince of Persia.

The new, reimagined iteration of it for current-gen console systems, while not an exclusive to one platform, awed me just enough to get me looking forward to it. What does it do exactly? Watch the developer walkthrough below, and see what I mean:

That buzz-word "immersion" the developer talks about, is something I always look for in a game. The way the game transitions from failure to retry, the "dueling" feel of combat, how a clean strike with a sword actually means death, not just decrease in some artificial HP, and so on...

Assassin's Creed, from same studio, came close, and I hope this game carries it further.

PS. It feels like more innovative games are created outside of US these days. Is the center of gaming, along with center of world economy, shifting away from America? Although world economy certainly will inevitably be shifted and be shared by many in near future, I hope America stays as the leader of gaming for long. At least until I am ready to jump to wherever there is innovation.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Netflix and Xbox Live: A Happy Marriage

Besides the big bomb, I must say, the announcement of Netflix integration into Xbox Live Gold is also a great news.

They say Xbox Live Gold members will be able to stream and watch thousands of movies off of Netflix streaming service directly on Xbox360 console, and that they can watch the movie with other friends over Xbox Live. I'm not sure how watching a movie with friends on different couches and different TV set will feel like, but I am really excited for this new feature--I loved the streaming service from Netflix, but I didn't get into it because I couldn't watch the movies on my bigger TV screen. But now I can!

A great but a puzzling news here is that they claim Xbox Live Gold account holders will be able to enjoy this without extra charge; how will this play out for normal Netflix subscribers? How's Netflix's profit generated in this picture, if their normal subscribers leave them for Xbox Live Gold, which most likely will include myself?


E3 2008's MS Conference should be over by now, and the software giant's pretty lame (if not completely lame) press conference didn't go away without a bang: Mr. Wada of Square-Enix declared the end of PS3 exclusivity for their flagship title, Final Fantasy XIII!!!! My God, how long I've waited for this announcement! This announcement alone topped the less than okay press conference Microsoft was suffering with for an hour.

But then again, with recent news of financial hardship and endless delay of development of FFXIIIVS (that's Final Fantasy XIII Versus), I guess it was only matter of time for this announcement.

Exciting news for Xbox360 owner. I think this just saved me $500+.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Paradox of Choice

Low expectation and some metaphorical fish bowl = Happiness.

But then again, after a book, all those years of study, and thirty minutes of my time, he basically says what has been said in church for millenia: Those with poor mind are happy.

All truths come to one place, and Jesus scores once again.