Friday, December 31, 2010

Kinect, First Impressions

Since E3 Microsoft has been teasing gamers with their Kinect peripheral. Me, being skeptical as always, I never really felt that Kinect could be a success and that the motion tracking might not be precise enough.

Over the past few days I had some time to sit down or rather stand up and give this Kinect thing a shot. This first game I played was Kinect Adventures, there isn't too much I can really say about this game other than it is the standard "shovelware" that is bundled with the peripheral. They are generally short mini games, the only mini game that I liked was the racing game. Although it was very odd to be driving with an imaginary steering wheel it was an entertaining game nevertheless.

I proceeded to play the Dance Central demo because I was curious to see what all the hype was about. It seems like I have seen quite a few game reviews raving about this game so my curiosity got the better of me. To put it simply, Dance Central is the best thing that Kinect has going for it, that in itself is a good thing as well as a bad thing. This means that it will sell a great number of units but some gamers may be be weary of investing in the Kinect for only one good game. Dance Central is genuinely fun, even for those who aren't experienced dancers. I think it is probably the best dance game ever created; as much as I love Dance Dance Revolution, Dance Central still takes the Cake. The thing that separates Dance Central from the rest is that it can actually teach the player how to dance, dances that can be used in real world applications.

Kinect met my expectations in terms of games and exceeded my expectations when it comes down to the motion tracking. Dance Central was great and all but I fear that not many games will be as great as it is thus possibly ruling out Kinect as a viable investment in the eyes of many gamers. Lets just hope the developers have a few tricks up their sleeves and create innovative software that will produce a completely new and enjoyable gaming experience.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flower...The Best Demo I Have Played To Date

Now that my exam period is finally over, I have had some time to hop on PSN between my Christmas shopping runs. I saw a demo on PSN that caught my eye, it was Flower. I decided to give it a shot since I was playing FlOw on my computer earlier and I have heard good things about Flower.

This demo was what I expected an more! I had a general idea that this game would have an interesting art style, which I loved. In a day and age where I mostly play FPS' that are very deficient in the colour department, I enjoyed playing a game that is relatively bright with a vivid colour palate.

The gameplay is what surprised me, like FlOw the simplicity in the gameplay is what makes it so entertaining, but I found this game almost relaxing to play. I haven't played a game like this before where I am being entertained and relaxed at the same time; I guess I have become accustomed to the high stress games of today. What I also enjoyed was the length of the demo, it was a lot longer than I expected, so that was a nice touch.

With all that being said, I am definitely buying this game in the near future; it seems like it will be money well spent.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Assassins Creed: Brotherhood Has Surprised Me!

A couple weekends ago purely by chance I had the opportunity to play Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (ACB), I have always been skeptical about the online component of the game. It just seemed like a gimmick when they announced it.

So I decided to play this game with and open mind, the single player is pretty much same AC gameplay that I have seen before so I got right into the multiplayer. All I can tell you is that I had one hell of a time playing online. I enjoyed it very much, I liked the variety of games modes available. Notably, I had a great time playing the standard "free for all" mode where it is every man/women for themselves.

What I really liked about this game was that it has an online experience like no other game I have played before. I found it refreshing to play something online that was not your standard shooter, racing or sports game. One of the more memorable moments I had was when I was being pursed in the streets of Rome by an assassin and was running through the crowds and jumped into a pile of hay and finally evaded my pursuer. I found it just as thrilling when I was chasing my target through the streets and it felt so rewarding to get the points for the assassination because it is a task that is not as simple pointing and shoot in an FPS, it seems like the work you put pays off. I liked the fact that I was able to avoid getting assassinate in ways other than simply running away, like hiding in hay, blending in a crowd or simply sitting on a bench minding your own business.

Overall, I had a great gaming experience in the brief period that I played ACB. I was what I had been looking for, something fresh, something new and above all, something outside of the box.