March 28, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Katsup

It seems I missed a lazy Sunday post or two. I’m half certain that isn’t a very big deal because I don’t know why anyone would read them, but rather than self-loathing over that fact, the absence owes simply to the fact that we’ve happened to be busy with weekend events this month.

Luckily I found time to scowl at a few things while drinking my coffee this morning, and we can now return to our regularly scheduled programming – wherein my first question of the day is “What’s the deal with Vanquish?”

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’d like to think a screenshot could merit at least half that many – but when it comes to images for Vanquish lately, I’ve tried my best and only come up with seven.

I really, really want to believe that this isn’t a generic “me too cause we can do it better but probably won’t” kinda thing – I’ll be sincerely shocked if that’s what releases in the end, but Platinum, you gotta give me more to work with here.

And yet there are games of more immediate concern.

I have more immediate and nagging doubts over Silicon Studio’s 3D Dot Heroes. It seems like everyone around me is playing it, but no one can really sum up the experience with those tricky little explainy bits called words.

So far revelations have yielded that the music is top-notch and the character editor is quite fun, but any clues toward whether the game is worth the investment seems stuck trying to expand on Atlus’ PR pledge that the title is pure “retro-sexy” – meant to drive some nostalgic part of your brain to the nearest store while the conscious and reasoning mind that would have to play the results takes a nap.

Love-letter / celebration of childhood in videogame form is one explanation I’ve heard so far. That initial response to the game sounds really good, but Retro Game Challenge was already that celebration, as well as a living-document of my childhood in videogame form – one which also offered up games across several genres, some I enjoyed more than those they mimicked.

Despite the reception to Demon’s Souls, I continue struggling with the fact that From Software has never really pulled a great game together, and while I still stand to be proven wrong, 3D Dot is sounding more and more like one of those games you play around with like a box of Lego – which is fine, but I already have a box of Lego.

For the record, Lego is retro-sexy.

No matter what good or bad words I might toss at Splinter Cell Conviction I’m going to end up picking the game up – I am a terrible person that way. There are just so few stealth-action games, and fewer still that work, that ignoring the mechanics available to the player is not an option for me. There’s this inexplicably joyous sensation from lurking in the shadows and taking out guards and other assorted thugs that made me one of the few people on the planet able to enjoy Velvet Assassin for instance.

That being said, it’s hard to take the game seriously from day one. If you could get past the typical tale of vengeance driving the setup for the game, the game’s other political overtures would surely finish you off. If you somehow crave that sort of narrative I salute you, but I just keep thinking of The Simpson’s redux of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I mean if Sam Fisher doesn’t at some point impale a corrupt Senator with the flag, I’ll be deeply disappointed.

I suppose the bulk of this post begs the question, “Is there anything you are optimistic about you miserable worn and tattered bastard?”

And yes, there is.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane brings back plenty of Dreamcast nostalgia and retro-sexy for me – plus there really aren’t enough games with boats.

And that dear friends is where I’m at as we get rolling on another week in the land of milk and honey also known as videogames and Internet.


  1. Hey! I noticed that your Lazy Sundays were missing… because Sunday when I went to read it… it wasn’t there. :(

    Re: Vanquish – It does look kind of generic… that being said… I have the utmost faith in Mikami, what with being the father of the greatest game ever made and all… ::coughGodHandcough:: Though how can you possibly follow that up? :) I hope Vanessa is a playable unlockable character, even if Mikami denies that P.N. 03 has anything to do with Vanquish.

    Re: 3D Dot Heroes – FROM Software apparently only published this game in Japan, this game was made by Silicon Studio. That being said, I love FROM Software and I’m a huge fan of Demon’s Souls. They’ve made a few of my all time favorites, the original Armored Core on the PSX, Otogi & Otogi 2 on the Xbox, Frame Gride on the Dreamcast & yes even Ninja Blade on the Xbox 360. :) Back on track with the 3D Dot Heroes game however, I have this on pre-order… mostly due to nostalgia… I too have no words for this game really… actually I’m not really a fan of the water effects and the HUGE sword… I’m more interested in the neat little 3D Dot people… heh. Plus just listen to that ::coughZeldacough:: theme music!

    Re: Splinter Cell – What happened to Emo Fisher? Glad he’s back to normal… but he looks kinda young, eh? Awesome trailer with the Johnny Cash. :) I just bought Velvet Assassin cheap the other day (cheap games + addiction to collecting games = ENORMOUS backlog btw) and now I’ll have to get to that sometime soon seeing you say you liked it.

    Re: Hydro Thunder! – That game was awesome… correct me if I’m wrong but it was also the ONLY game made by Midway that was ever any good! :) After watching that video however I hope that isn’t the only camera angle… it seems to low and close to me for some reason. Here’s hoping it’s at that sweet 800 point mark… otherwise I’ll have to wait for it to become one of Microsoft’s Deals of the Week a year after it comes out…

    Sorry for the GARGANTUAN reply. :)

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — March 28, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  2. Also, you need to implement an Edit button, so I can correct my spelling and grammar mistakes after I hit post… doh! That’s 2 posts today I typed “to” instead of “too”.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — March 28, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  3. Thanks for noticing it was missing :)

    There were two event weekends back to back and I was just so earnestly brain-dead that it wasn’t happening those days – and I’m a little braindead here because yes 3D Dot is developed by Silicon Studio – there’s not a lot of info about them but Siliconera did an interview awhile back. The game’s hook just makes it such a From Software type of title to me, and I’ve been assuming From was instrumental in getting Atlus looking at the game since they were trying to publish the title overseas – but yes definitely not From developed.

    I’m still excited for the game, just stuck on wondering whether it will make it past the 3hr interest mark. Nostalgia is great, but I just need a little more from a game, which is why I mentioned RGC – which really is the perfect balance of nostalgia and “hey there’s still a lot of game here” all tied together with an irresistible narrative string.

    Same deal with Vanquish, I have the faith, but man oh man the sceens so far, which are very few but setup some enormous theories about the direction, really make me sweat.

    As for Midway, myea… I spent a lot of time in the arcade playing Spy Hunter back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Does that count?

    I’ll see what I can do about an edit button ;)

    Comment by Jamie Love — March 29, 2010 @ 7:52 am

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