July 11, 2010

Refresh Rate Double Dose – Banjo-Kazooie & Conker’s Bad Fur Day

The year is 1984.

You’re watching MTV, where music videos are still played, and Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” comes on. Bruce is rocking out on stage but… he keeps making eyes at this somewhat androgynous brunette in a sleeveless t-shirt. Then, during The Big Man’s sax solo, The Boss actually pulls her up on stage for a brief, intimate, and somewhat awkward dance. And thus the world was introduced to Courtney Cox; she of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Scream and Friends fame. From those dubious beginnings, a long and fruitful career blossomed.

For two of the N64’s most well-known anthropomorphic platform heroes, the beginning was almost as humble.


March 23, 2010

Revisiting Perfect Dark

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 4:33 pm

Perfect Dark
I’ve been pretty wrapped up in the nostalgia of revisiting Perfect Dark since it’s revamped release on XBLA, one which gives the series enough relevance that those inclined can wax on about their attachment to Joanna and why the continuation of the franchise should be a top priority for Microsoft – such as myself.

If you only took one element of this release away with you in deciding whether it was worth 800 MSPoints, it’s hard to ignore just how much “game” Rare managed to wedge into that N64 cartridge so many years ago. If the narrative solo missions and visits to the Carrington Institute aren’t enough to keep you occupied, the multiplayer options provide an experience that scream for life on LIVE. And of course Perfect Dark offers up co-op mission play, but more importantly offers the counter-op alternative that is probably one of my favorite multiplayer experiences to date.

Setting my obvious enthusiasm aside however, there are plenty on the flipside of the positive, for whom the game is simply too dated, with a design approach to the genre too far out of line with modern FPS releases. Naturally I don’t agree, but rather than simply telling those people to suck a lemon, it seems worthwhile to revisit an element of Perfect Dark that elevates it’s old school status beyond the age of its release to show that it still has energy enough to teach us something about what the console FPS is capable of.


December 24, 2009

Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Earth

Refresh Rate 01
Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Earth
Runtime – 7:52
Developer – Treasure
Publisher – Nintendo
System – Nintendo 64 / Virtual Console
Released – November 21, 2000 / October 1, 2007

*Text transcript available after the break


December 13, 2009

The Burden of Being – Joanna Dark

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 11:11 am

Perfect Dark

Originally Published via 4ColorRebellion – August 31, 2009

Joanna Dark was born into a harsh and stark world, one of unbridled technological advancements, largely governed by the corrupted greed of corporate agendas. In short, Perfect Dark brought all the many splendid things which help make the science-fiction genre slick and delicious while pushing hard into the reaches of a new slipstream frontier.

Beyond the reality of the game, Joanna also faced the harsh expectations of a skeptical audience, which questioned her ability to fill the shoes of the spy who not only preceded her, but also made the FPS genre successful on a gaming console.

Yet the success she would achieve wouldn’t come from cheap imitations, but rather from the ambition to surpass previous benchmarks, pushing the genre further to obtain true legitimacy for her would-be franchise.


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