Archive for the ‘games’ Category

Mirrors Edge thoughts

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I have been playing Mirrors Edge now for a couple of weeks (off and on while I level my Paladin in World of Warcraft up to 80…).

I purchased Mirrors Edge based on the demo, which for me is quite rare as normally demos put me off games. The demo really made you feel able to go anywhere and do anything, or at least left me with those impressions. The retail game has moments of making you feel awesome and really fired up with all the great moves you can do.


iPhone games and saving

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I was in the Westfield Bondi Junction (a mall in Sydney) at the weekend waiting for the other half. So I took my phone out and took a look at what I could do to kill the time.

I have Monkey Ball, Crash Bandicoot Racing, de Blob and Trism on their atm but I decided I couldn’t play any of them. Why? Because of the way they save or don’t save when you press the home button.

Out of all of the games above only Trism saves its state when you press the home button. This makes short burst play hugely frustrating on the other games. Most mobile phone users will likely look to their iPhone to fill the gap in between meetings, or when they wait for people to turn up, or at lunch, or maybe on the bus/train/tube/ferry. All of these are short burst activities and the user needs to know that time has not been wasted.

If you look at both the PSP and the Nintendo DS they have a sleep function. So if you have to end your gaming quickly just put it to sleep and resume later. Now the iPhone allows software makers to save the application state when you press the home button the main reason for not using this is bug testing.

Saving the state and loading it on the next boot up has lots of testing implications. What happens if it is in this state or that state they press home? There are a lot of potential sticking points. However as a software maker our focus must be the user.

If the user is put off your game because of the above it could hurt their impressions of gaming on the iPhone full stop. So we hope, with Pop, we can get a good solution to state saving integrated so you can keep playing even if you have to interrupt it with real world stuff!


Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

I bought Braid last week and have now put enough time in to be able to air my views.

The first thing which struck me about Braid was the price, I also know from other sites that it is causing a lot of discussion. At 1200 points it is one of the more expensive xbla games put there. Now a lot of people are complaining about it being more expensive than other xbla games saying it is a short experience and not worth the price. What I find interesting is this idea of a ‘correct’ price point or one that reflects value and so forth.


Super Monkeyball

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

I have bought quite a few games now for my iPhone so I thought I’d do little mini reviews or musings about them.

Super Monkeyball as you probably know tasks you with guiding your monkey, who is trapped in a ball, through a series of levels collecting bananas. At its most simple you must get from A to B as quickly as possible and you score higher for a good time and collecting more bananas. (more…)

Metroid Prime: Corruption

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007


I finally got my copy of Metroid Prime 3 yesterday. I had asked for it to be shipped DHL from Video Games Plus which they did but they sent it to my old UK address. Fortunately both of us caught this quickly and they managed to get another copy DHL-ed to me.

Anyway I spent a couple of hours playing it last night and managed to get through 2 bosses (or one boss and a mini boss depending on how you look at it). As I have not managed to complete it I’ll give you my first impressions.

Firstly Wow! It looks great, ok not HD great but for a Wii game it looks amazing. The first few minutes or hours are very different from a normal Metroid game in that 1) you have people speaking to you 2) you don’t have to kill everything you meet and 3) you get some help in places. This might put off die-hard fans but for me it fleshes out Samus’s world a little more without removing any of the core Metroid elements.


Super Metroid (Virtual Console)

Monday, August 27th, 2007


With the imminent release of Metroid Corruption I have started playing Super Metroid on the Virtual Console. Having never played a Metroid game until Fusion (on the GBA) and Prime (on the Cube) Super Metroid passed me by (I know I had a SNES and still never played it!).

Anyway coming to it as a relative newcomer is interesting for several reasons.

Guidance and objectives:

Super Metroid is really hard. Not because of the AI or the amount of health or ammo you get. Instead it is because there is very little guidance. It does not tell you how to use any of your abilities or where to go next. Instead you are left to explore and experiment to discover what to do and where to go. To this end it can be frustrating at certain sections becuase you think you are lost or even trapped.

Feeling trapped and unable to progress is an interesting one as there are several sections where you can blast a switch to open a door from one side that when you return you cannot open from the other side. This leads to a few moments of thinking ‘crap I am going to have to reset and start from my save again’. Interestingly, however, there are always ways out of the area you think you are trapped in.


Warioware: Smooth Moves

Monday, April 23rd, 2007


I’ll try to get a bunch of these done today so I can catch up…



You don’t know about Wario Ware? Go to the back of the class. Wario Ware is, in all its forms, a compendium of mini games. Each one lasts seconds rather than minutes and you must not only complete the game to keep going but first you have to try to work out what exactly you have to do to complete the mini game.



Wario Ware needs only a Wii Remote but it does ask you to use it in various fun and unique ways. Each of these ways is called a ‘Form’ and they can vary from putting it on the ground/table top and quickly picking it up to holding it above your head while you nod, duck or crouch.


Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Monday, April 23rd, 2007


God I am so behind on these, I have masses of games still to write up about :( Anyway onto Trauma Center.



Like the original DS version you play a rookie surgeon who starts doubting his abilties until he find he is one of the few in the world with a special healing gift.



You use the Wii Remote to manipulate the various surgical implements e.g. scalpel, bandage, x-ray etc. The nunchuk on the other hand is used to select each implement making changing each much quicker and more fluid than the DS. Using the Wii remove as a scalpel etc is really nice and in many ways feels more surgical than the DS version. It’s very satisfying and not fiddley at all,


Ridge Racer 7

Monday, April 23rd, 2007


Like Resistance I got this for Christmas and am only now getting round to writing about it…



Erm drive cars round Ridge State fast and win prizes. Best get your drift on ‘cos the corners are tight. Or you could say a re-hash of the PS1, PS2 and 360 Ridge Racers. Same old tracks but with better graphics… Oh and this time you can customise your cars (watch out Need for Speed)!



Steer, accelerate and drift. If you need to brake your playing the wrong driving game. The reason I like RR is its all about the drifting, many games have tried but RR always feels on the money. Gliding round one of its corners at top speed is exhilarating. But it is all feeling a little too familiar!


Resistance: Fall of Man

Monday, April 23rd, 2007


Got a this with my PS3 at Christmas. I know its like 5 months later but World of Warcraft and work have been eating up a lot of my time so its been hard to write!



Its the Second World War but in a parallel universe. There are no nazis, instead a mutant/alien plague has escaped Russia and spread across Europe to the UK. You and some American Allies must fight of this scourge and save the world. Nice graphical showcase for the PS3 and an interesting plot line (well instead of the usual WWII fps shlock).



The game is a first person shooter and so uses the usual: left stick for move and strafe and the right for turn and look. Strangely the triggers are not used for weapons by default (although this can be configured). At certain points you have to shake the control to get rid of bad guys who attach themselves to you.