Showing posts with label xbox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label xbox. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pilots Without Planes- A Titanfall Review



Titanfall is an online only shooter that takes place in a future in which humans have colonized outside of Earth but have not yet freed themselves of the shackles of violent confrontation. In a government vs. the people type scenario, diplomacy has failed, as it often does, and a violent revolution has broken out and both sides are utilizing mechanical, weaponized armour called Titans to do aid them in expressing their message of discontent. 

It would not be all that hard to understand why, to an outside observer, Titanfall might strike them as "just another fps." A standard, run of the mill first person affair replete with fast paced  action complemented by a screen covered in rpg-esque numbers and symbols; both of which work to provide immediate and visceral satisfaction and long term addictive behaviour, including the inability to refrain from buying overpriced map packs or a "season pass." Play the game however, and it becomes abundantly clear that Titanfall is more than that. The folks at Respawn Entertainment were clearly aware of the state of the genre and the long term implications of market oversaturation and worked hard to make a shooter that may look like the rest but is actually substantially different (even including addressing the pricing of post release downloadable content).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ninja Gaiden (Xbox, 2004) Was Ahead Of Its Time




Note: I use 'hack n slash' to describe the genre of games to which titles such as Ninja Gaiden, Devil May Cry and Bayonetta belong. I recognize that to many, the term hack n slash calls to mind games like Diablo and Champions of Norrath while games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden would be considered third person action games. Just remember that when I say hack n slash I mean Ninja Gaiden, not Diablo.

'Ahead of its time' is a phrase with which I am intimately familiar, having said it myself many times in my life (usually in reference to a video game or a technical death metal album I am raving about at any given time). It is also a phrase with which I take issue, as the concept of something being ahead of its time implies that it is possible for something to exist before it should exist, which seems patently absurd, especially when stated so clearly. If something comes to exist at a moment in time, what other time could there be, aside from the one in question, at which the thing in question should exist and who determines that? Clearly the idea of something being ahead of its time is a romanticized and hyperbolic one. That being said, I am prone to hyperbole and romanticism and so I am going to make the claim that Ninja Gaiden (Xbox, 2004) was ahead of its time. If it is at all possible for something to be so, Ninja Gaiden is it.

At the time of the game's release, the hack n slash genre was well established, but certainly not to the degree to which it is today. Nor was it nearly as popular as it is now. God of War had not yet released. Devil May Cry 3, arguably the best in the series and the title that really elevated both the Devil May Cry series and the hack n slash genre as a whole in terms of mainstream popularity (as well as acting as redemption after the dud that was Devil May Cry 2) had also not yet been released. The first title in the series was, at the time, widely considered to be the best of the genre, and probably rightfully so. At the time, Capcom really innovated and elevated the genre with the release of the original Devil May Cry.

And then in 2004, a reboot of the classic 8 bit Ninja Gaiden series developed by Team Ninja, the development studio behind the Dead or Alive fighting game franchise, was released and the genre was elevated to dizzying new heights (see, there's that aforementioned tendency to hyperbole).

The first thing that really stood out upon first playing the game was how smooth, fluid and fast everything was. The game ran at a blistering 60 fps, which, if I am not mistaken, was a first for the genre, at least on consoles. It felt incredibly smooth, fast and responsive, and this was felt immediately after beginning to play. The controls were tight and the main character, Ryu Hayabusa, was incredibly agile. The options in terms of mobility were staggering. You could run up and along walls, hop back and forth between them to get to high places in seconds (known within the series as "bird flipping") jump on enemy heads and then launch yourself off of them, either once or multiple times in succession, allowing for the possibility of getting past a group of enemies by simply traversing over them as though they were a part of the flooring. Ryu could also roll dodge and perform a move known as the "Flying Swallow" which is a mid air flying sword thrust which covers great distances instantaneously and can decapitate multiple enemies in a single motion.

Hmmmm....three guys all shooting at me, what do I- oh, that takes care of that then!
Totally unrelated to the feel of the game, but equally noticeable upon first playing it was the fact that the game was absolutely stunning. Upon release it was one of the best looking Xbox games. Arguably even the best, period. This makes the fact that it ran at 60 fps all the more impressive since developers typically have to sacrifice either visual fidelity or the framerate when developing console games. The best looking games, especially during the sixth video game generation, were typically 30 fps. The few games that did run at a higher framerate were not typically the most technically impressive games from a visual standpoint. Ninja Gaiden was a top tier game in terms of visuals and it also somehow ran at 60 fps. The game was an absolute technical marvel and it was a dream to play while being a beauty to behold.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's....a Pilot? Pilots Without Planes- A Titanfall Review



Titanfall is an online only shooter that takes place in a future in which humans have colonized outside of Earth but have not yet freed themselves of the shackles of violent confrontation. In a government vs. the people type scenario, diplomacy has failed, as it often does, and a violent revolution has broken out and both sides are utilizing mechanical, weaponized armour called Titans to do aid them in expressing their message of discontent. 

It would not be all that hard to understand why, to an outside observer, Titanfall might strike them as "just another fps." A standard, run of the mill first person affair replete with fast paced  action complemented by a screen covered in rpg-esque numbers and symbols; both of which work to provide immediate and visceral satisfaction and long term addictive behaviour, including the inability to refrain from buying overpriced map packs or a "season pass." Play the game however, and it becomes abundantly clear that Titanfall is more than that. The folks at Respawn Entertainment were clearly aware of the state of the genre and the long term implications of market oversaturation and worked hard to make a shooter that may look like the rest but is actually substantially different (even including addressing the pricing of post release downloadable content).

Monday, October 14, 2013

Basic Ninja Gaiden Tips

I LOVE Ninja Gaiden. LOVE IT. Any regular reader of mine is already acutely aware of this, and probably sick of hearing about the franchise on this blog. Well, those people can roll their eyes all they want but it's my blog and I will mention Ninja Gaiden as many times as I want. I am independent, defiant and need no audience.

Wait, come back!

Okay, okay, I won't mention Ninja Gaiden for a while after this, I promise.

So, for anyone who may be new to Ninja Gaiden and are finding themselves assaulted by insanity and wondering how the hell they are ever supposed to excel at the game, I have for you a few basic tips that you should be aware of. Just remember, this is Ninja Gaiden, not Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Onimusha, God of War, etc. It is its own beast so be cognizant of that fact and treat it as such (not bashing any of those, btw.  love some of them, like others, blah blah. Ninja Gaiden is just in a league of its own in terms of both mechanics and difficulty).

The tips:

1) ALWAYS BLOCK. On the xbox, I basically hold the L trigger at all times. This should be your default position, and from there you can flick the stick to roll, initiate attacks, etc.

2) Use shurikens to interrupt enemy attacks, and also to cancel your own attacks (this becomes more natural with time....at first, use them for stuns). This will create windows for you within which you can initiate a pre-emptive attack.

3) X+A (or X and [] on the Playstation platform) will allow you to jump towards the nearest enemy. It is a tracking jump. Once you get near them, press A again to jump off of their heads. This stuns them and allows you to roll towards them and initiate a free attack.

4) Blocking reduces the damage taken from incendiary shurikens. If you time a dodge just as they explode, you completely negate the damage (due to the i-frames afforded you during an evasion) but before you get the timing for that down, at least make sure you're blocking when they blow up.

5) The center camera button is your friend. Use it often!

Good luck and again, remember that Ninja Gaiden requires a very different mindset and playstyle than does say DMC. You don't get openings, you create them. Enemies are not there for you to kill; they're there to kill you.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Strider Game Announced!!!

Capcom has announced that they are publishing a new Strider game for both current and next gen Microsoft/Sony consoles, as well as the PC. The game, which is being developed by Double Helix (the development studio currently working on the new Killer Instinct game for the Xbox One) will be released in "early 2014." Click HERE to read all about it, as well as to look at additional screenshots/video not posted below.

Here is a quick comparison between the old and new (click the link above to see several more screenshots of the game in action):

Strider For the Sega Genesis

Strider in 2014
Gameplay footage:



I cannot wait to jump back into the boots of the ninja Hiryu....2014 cannot come soon enough!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Introductory Thoughts on Xbox One.

Well I think its about time I hopped back on the blogging train.



After watching Microsofts Press Conference for the new Xbox I felt like talking about what I liked, what I hated and what I thought was just not needed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sights, Sounds, Feelings

Top Seven Best Sounds In the World:

-Woman having an orgasm
-Blast beat
-Slot machine jackpot
-Xbox 360 achievement unlocked sound (blop!)
-End of the day bell on the last day of school prior to the onset of summer break
-My 4 year old daughter's laugh
-The sound a head makes being decapitated in Ninja Gaiden

Top Seven Best Sights In the World:

-Woman having an orgasm, especially if another woman is involved ;)
-A litter of puppies
-My 4 year old daughter's smile
-A head being decapitated in Ninja Gaiden
-That brief period post sunset/pre-dusk with the beautiful colours in the sky
-Morning sunshine
-Campfire in a wooded area with nary a woman in view

Top Seven Best Feelings In the World:

-Pain relief
-Finally peeing when you've been forced to hold it for a long time, and your bladder is full to the brim
-An orgasm
-Being told “I love you, daddy”
-Morning sunshine
-Beating one of the modern Ninja Gaiden games on Master Ninja
-The catharsis granted by a good, old fashioned RANT

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nostalgia: Do You Experience It? Also, A Hypothetical Situation.


Nostalgia: Do You Experience It? Also, A Hypothetical Situation.

Many gamers experience a phenomenon referred to as nostalgia. What this is, for those who do not know, is a feeling of longing for the past that is fraught with (often times) bittersweet sentimentality. Specifically, in reference to video games, nostalgia is a longing for a time in which certain video games systems, and certain video games, were current. The gamer was younger, and they were experiencing beloved games from what is now their past as brand new, cutting edge, and exciting. An example of this is someone remembering their  birthday in 1991, a day during which they received a Sega Genesis console with two games and they spent 10 hours that day playing those games with their brother, and hours more every day of the week for years afterwards. They remember this and they long for those days. They wish they could go back to them, and they feel like nothing these days reaches that level of emotional impact and/or just plain fun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UFC 141 Free on Xbox Live!

UFC 141 Free on Xbox Live!

The xbox UFC app is now available on the 360 dashboard, and as a special treat, Microsoft and the UFC are offering UFC 141 for free (both in SD and HD) so go download that app and select 'buy UFC 141' (it comes up $0.00, don't worry).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Simpsons Arcade Headed to Consoles!

Simpsons Arcade Headed to Consoles!

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6344641.html

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Ninja Gaiden 3 Screenshots

New Ninja Gaiden 3 Screens:








Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Video Game Memories Pt. 4: Sixth Generation (Xbox/PS2/GCN/DC Era)

Memories

The Xbox was my favourite console last gen. I owned a Gamecube as well, although I did not get my PS2 until this generation (the seventh) was already underway. Anyways, the Xbox is from where most of the gaming memories from this generation are derived, so I will mostly focus on that.

The xbox was released in North America on November 15th, 2001. My brother and I received ours on Christmas, a day I still fondly recall. The xbox has provided me with innumerable memories, some of which I will detail here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Offical Xbox Magazine (OXM) Interview with Yosuke Hayashi SCANS

OXM Interview with Yosuke Hayashi

SCANS: (CLICK TO ENLARGE!)

Credit goes to mohsin117 over at GameTrailers.com








Well.... 

There were a few things said in that interview that went a small, small way towards perhaps a 1% decrease in my discomfort with Hayashi being in charge.

Other than that, I'm skeptical. I really, really hope they blow me away. I'll be watching the reveal gameplay during E3 and commenting on ever little detail I see. Hopefullythose comments are tinged with glee, and not disappointment.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Halo: Combat Evolved Remake In The Works

An article (http://www.joystiq.com/2011/02/04/halo-combat-evolved-hd/) over at Joystiq is saying that an HD Remake of Halo 1 is in the works for this year.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Upcoming XBLA/I Games (With Videos)

Upcoming XBLA/I (I=Indie) Games


Some great looking games in this list, but it's obviously not complete. If you know of any possibly good/great ones that are not included in this list, and you would like them to be, leave me a comment with the name of the game and a link to a video and I will amend the list to include it. Thanks!

Note: I'm not sure which of these are also going to the PS3/PC/Wii, but I know some are. I'm primarily a 360 gamer (I do have a Wii and both current handhelds), so I am looking at this as a 360 list. This is not done out of any fanboyish scorn or anything of that nature. I don't have a PS3 and don't game on my PC, so I am doing this through the lens of a 360 gamer by circumstance, not disdain for other platforms. I actually want a PS3, and will buy one in time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Gaming History Pt. 6

This blog series is going to be a look back through time as I recall my 20+ gaming “career,” if you will. I'll take you through the ups and downs, the trials, tribulations and the triumphs. The sleepless nights, the gorging on pizza, the tournaments, the competition, the fights. The friends made over gaming, and the friends lost ov-no wait, I can honestly say that I have never lost a friend because of gaming. That would be rather pathetic, would it not?

Part Six (Part 1 can be found HERE; Part 2 HERE; Part 3 HERE; Part 4 HERE; Part 5 HERE)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SEQUEL TO EDF 2017 (Earth Defense Force 2017) ANNOUNCED!

I literally just came upon this, so this is hot off of the press- well, hot off of my becoming aware of it. Earth Defense Force 2017 is GETTING A SEQUEL!!! A long awaited (by like 10 of us lol) sequel, I might add:

It's about time!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ninja Gaiden Series Retrospective

Final Fantasy. Sonic the Hedgehog. Super Mario. Half-Life. Metal Gear. Halo. Resident Evil. Kirby. Call of Duty. Dragon Quest. Diablo. Gran Turismo. Ask a gamer what video game series is their favourite, and you'll often hear them name one of the above, along with a multitude of other diverse answers. One series that, for reasons I cannot understand, seems to get overlooked, even though many of the entries in the series are among the best of the genre on their respective platforms. The series to which I am referring is none other than Ninja Gaiden.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Started Playing Ninja Gaiden II Again

After a few succesive events transpiring to take me away from the game (my disappointment with it, frustration, and having a kid) for many months, I decided I could not leave my near year old Path of the Master Ninja (hardest difficulty....very, very hard) playthrough just sitting there; I had to finish the damn thing.


And so, after several months away from Ninja Gaiden I jumped back in. The smart thing to do would be to start up a Path of the Warrior (normal difficulty) playthrough, get some practice in, right? Seeing as how this game on its hardest difficulty is notoriously difficult, it would be stupid to jump right into the hardest difficulty, and no on in their right mind would do so....right?

Ha! I jumped right back into Path of the Master Ninja (POTMN or MN as I refer to it). What a DUMB thing to do. So depressing to see how far I had fallen :(

I spent a good few hours getting my ass kicked and wanting to throw my tv through the window.

So, after a bunch of frustration and laughter, I finally strarted to feel a tiny bit of the old fire, and I have managed to get to Chapter 4 in a couple of days. I'm now at the first save in that Chapter, and it's coming back......slowly.....I have to say I am still dying FAR TOO OFTEN. I swear I have died at least 100 times in the last three Chapters. :(

So, with much frustration, and doing it in the dumbest way possible (lol) I WILL finally finish this damn thing.

And then, the REAL fun begins.

You see, Ninja Gaiden II's older brother is the far superior Ninja Gaiden Black. And to Ninja Gaiden Black, my belovded frined and favorite game ever, I have a message:

I miss you old friend.

When I am done with your younger, more stupid, more irritating brother's hardest difficulty, I promise to return to you. I miss you and your nuanced perfection. Your glorious design, your incredible balance. I'll have to start over, since my old xbox is gone, and I don't have the time for you I once had, but one day, one day I promise to get back to that 22,000,000 MM score and finally break 30million.


If it's the last thing I do.