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Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

When’s the last time you got excited over a video of a marching band playing at half-time?  It’s about to be right now.

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And no, I’m not talking about new television show Revolution, although after watching the first couple of episodes I’m afraid that’s true.  Nor am I talking about the first episode of Elementarywhich I was surprised to find I actually liked.  In fact, I’m not referring to a television show at all, and I’m not even sure why I brought it up.

I am referring to Resident Evil 6, the latest in the survival horror turned action shoot-em-up video game franchise .

I’ve been a fan of the Resident Evil games ever since I first played through Resident Evil 2 over the course of several nights in high school with a couple of friends.  We had a big screen, a dark room, and junk food.  It was fantastic.  I had the original Resident Evil on computer (no PS1 at the time), and I eventually accumulated my own copy of 2 on the Dreamcast, along with 3 and Code Veronica.  I own the remake of 1 on the Gamecube, along with 0 and 4.  But my most recent experience was co-opping my way through Resident Evil 5 with my friend Brian over spring break a couple of years ago.  We would play everyday during my son’s nap time.  It was fun, but I was keen on the ‘more action less horror’ path they seemed to be taking with it.  It’s like the games started becoming more like the movies instead of vice versa.

And now Resident Evil 6 comes along, and the critics are not pulling any punches.  It currently sits at a 66 on Metacritic, which, for as big a game as this is, is a  pretty terrible score.  Most of the descriptions confirm my fears;  lot’s of big action set pieces, very few moments of true horror.  I hate that.  Especially because the early trailers seemed to indicate it was going back that direction.  I’ll probably still get the game at some point.  But I’ll wait until it’s a bargain.

On a related note.  If you are looking for a zombie survival horror game done right, you will do no better than Tell-Tale’s The Walking Dead.  I’m a long-time fan of the comic, and the TV show, but this game blows away even my high expectations.  This is survival horror with an emphasis on survival.  It’s a game about making hard decisions when the world falls apart, and they don’t mess around either.  You have a finite amount of time with every choice, and if you waffle too much, the game just goes on.  So far I’ve had to choose who to save when two people are being attacked at once, what to do when a man gets his foot caught in a bear trap, and how to dole out four rations to ten people.   It’s a rough game.  Perfect for The Walking Dead.

 

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English: Steam logo

English: Steam logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Steam’s Summer Sale began a few days ago.  It’s an exciting time because I have some money that I got for my birthday, and I’m going to buy video games with it just like I haven’t been out of high school for over ten years.  Here’s what I’ve bought so far:

Shogun 2: Total War    $7.50

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare     $3.74

The Walking Dead     $14.99

I was very excited to find The Walking Dead for $10 off (still available as of this posting by the way).  I’ve heard great things about the first two installments, and I’m anxious to play them. If you’re looking for some great pc games on the cheap, you can buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent (otherwise known as the scariest game ever made) for $4.99 for the next six hours, and Portal 2 is $9.99 (although I’ve seen it drop as low as $4.99, and it may again before the sale is over).

I’ve still got my eye on a couple of things.  If Skyrim drops low enough I’ll be tempted to grab it, although I have no idea when I’ll find the time to play it.

Any recommendations?

 

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You may remember this post from a few months ago where I claimed Amnesia: The Dark Descent was the scariest video game ever made.  I stand by that claim, but it appears that there may soon be a rival for that crown.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

Yes.  It’s the sequel to the scariest game ever made, and I can already tell it’s going to be frightening by the fact that the title makes no sense but still creeps me out.  Then, of course, there’s the trailer:

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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might remember a few weeks ago I posted this, about a Kickstarter to fund a new game studio run by adventure gaming legend Jane Jensen.  It’s the first Kickstarter I’ve pledged any money too, although I was tempted when Double Fine announced theirs.  But this was Jane Jensen, creator of the Gabriel Knight series, the greatest adventure games of all time.  So I pledged, and now I’m excited to say that it’s goal of $300,000 dollars has been met, and exceeded with eight days still to go.  It’s going to fund two games this year – a supernatural thriller called Moebius, and a mystery game.  Here’s a link to the kickstarter:

Jane Jensen Adventure Games!

If you have any interest at all in point and click adventure games, do yourself a favor and help fund this.  Nobody makes them better than Jane Jensen.

 

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The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery

The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m usually not one for the constant count down timers that video game companies put out to get you excited for their next big announcement, but when Jane Jensen does it I pay attention.  That name might not mean a lot to most gamers out there, but if you loved Sierra adventure games in the 1990’s you probably know exactly who she is, and you have fond memories of King’s Quest VI and the Gabriel Knight series.  Her name certainly means a lot to me.  Those games are some of my all-time favorites.  So when I saw this today:

http://www.pinkertonroad.com/

I got excited.  She’s only put out one full blown adventure game since Gabriel Knight 3 in 1999 – last year’s Gray Matter.  I liked it quite a bit; it was probably my favorite adventure game from last year, although that might depend on whether you count Portal 2 as an adventure game or not.  I felt like it wasn’t quite as good as her earlier work, but the things I loved about Gabriel Knight – compelling characters, well written dialogue, intricate story – were all intact.

This could be a brand new game, which would be exciting.  It could be Gray Matter 2, which would be great and welcome.

But it could be Gabriel Knight 4, and that would be the best gaming news I could get this year.

The last one ended on a cliff-hanger, and I’ve been waiting 13 years for resolution.


Update:  The wait is over.  It’s not an announcement of a new game on Kickstarter, it’s an announcement for a Kickstarter funded development company!  Multiple games by Jane Jensen, plus the most hopeful words about Gabriel Knight 4 in the last ten years?  Sold!

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Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve been looking to spend countless hours playing great old role-playing games on your computer, Gamersgate has a deal for you.  I’ve collected all of the Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale games separately over the years, along with Planescape, which might just be the greatest RPG ever made.   I don’t know how long this deal will last, but the whole thing would probably still be worth it for full price.

This also makes me want to play some Baldur’s Gate II and Icewind Dale II.  I never got around to beating those.

And now I want to replay Planescape.  This is not good for my video game queue.

 

 

 

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