Archive for October, 2009

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Getting on (electrified) track…

October 29, 2009

So the 3-bit podcast is now 3 episodes in. Well, actually, we all kinda wish that the third episode was our first, and that we could forget about episodes one and two.

Especially two… **shudder

But all three are there, for your listening (dis)pleasure.

Oh and an all-too-late warning about episode 3. Start the podcast with your volume way down. You’ll thank me later.

I recently finished playing inFamous, and because, 6 months out, many might consider it old news, I decided the podcast was not the place to talk about it, except for brief reference in episode 3.

But it definitely deserves a blog post, because, christ, I fucking loved that game. Seriously, I put down my controller slack jawed.

For those of you unfamiliar with inFamous, imagine that GTA4 and Crackdown had a baby. Now add electricity. Voila. Bon appetit. (Actually, on second thought, please don’t eat the game, or babies for that matter. I don’t want to be liable for any gastrointestinal distress such actions may incur.)

But inFamous strikes a refreshing balance between super strength and vulnerability, which is something crackdown surely missed the mark on. Despite your superpowers, haphazard intrusion into enemy territory will certainly earn you a tombstone and a facepalm.

At the same time, you are much more powerful than even the most RPG-laden Niko Bellic in GTA4. You are a mighty force to be reckoned with; one that wields godlike power and wrath.

Game mechanics were mostly stellar. Just one example: I spent a good half hour marveling at the distinct way in which you climb buildings. I had no idea you could make such an action look so natural (or as natural as quickly scaling a sky scraper can seem). I could barely fathom the amount of work it took to coat each building with so many different climbing options, not to mention how long it took to bug test the vast cityscape in which you roam.

I noticed one tool that was employed to circumvent this issue: repeating structures. There were “unique” parts of the world that I felt like I had been in before, and there were times the sense of deja vu permeated my pin on the map as I tried to grasp where I was and what I was doing. Alas, I had to resign myself to using the pause screen and the large map far more often that I probably would like to admit.

Aesthetically, the game was gorgeous. Beautiful gigantic explosions abound at your pull of the trigger. The world, but for the repeating structures I mentioned, was engaging and fun to explore. Traveling around the city by surfing on electrified wires and train tracks was extremely fun. And all the while the way you interact with and deploy electricity looks really good.

So with all this graphic success, I was curious how a game that so brilliantly executed and animated exploding cars, lightning bolts, and the scaling of buildings, could fail so hard at animating faces and dialogue. Seriously people, these characters looked like lifeless marionettes, and were laughably pathetic as they tried to portray the panic that usually accompanies the coming of Armageddon.

Another significant detail of gameplay was the moral scale. You can be good or bad, depending on your actions during certain key missions. I warn you, you may be tempted by the dark side, but not for the reasons you think. The moral system is so black and white, that some times you can’t help but think of the hilarity that might ensue from your evil deeds. In fact the game damn near incentivizes evil actions with such timeless classics as “Well I could let the hungry people eat the emergency rations, or I could kill them all and take the food for myself.” In fact, trying to play as a “hero,” I was only truly conflicted in one moral decision. Out of more than about 20…

The final thing I want to say about this game is the way the game tells its story. There are audio logs, character dialogues and interactions, the linear power upgrade system, which is grafted neatly into the game, but most importantly there are cinema scenes which are much unlike anything I have seen or played. They are truly one of the most enjoyable parts of the game, because the art is just so fantastically refreshing.

To top it all off, the ending is bad ass. Like I said, jaws will be slacked. Unless I’m just a sucker.

Summary: Game mechanics, pretty good, except for shitty dialogue and character interactions. Gameplay is extremely fun while not overtly easy. Aesthetically, the game is gorgeous. Finally, the story is interesting, even though the moral scale factor is a little cheesy and annoying at times, and the ending will rock your socks off (I hope, otherwise I’m a sucker).

Basically this game knocked me right out of my anti-sony fanboy nerd rage against the ps3. And that is saying something.

Enjoy,

Kyle.

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3-Bit is Official!

October 28, 2009

So last night after completing the uploading/blogging process for episode 3, I decided to pull the trigger and submit us to iTunes. Time to celebrate, for we are now official.

I gotta say, it’s a little odd seeing something we created up for cochlea consumption on iTunes. I’m very excited we finally have an easy way for listeners to get to our content.

Happy listening,

-Peter

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10/27/2009 Episode 3: This One’s For Real

October 28, 2009

In this installment the 3-bit crew takes time to discuss Brutal Legend, Uncharted 2, Hook Champ and Assassin’s Creed.

Music Credits:
Children Of The Grave by Black Sabbath
Juniors Eyes by Black Sabbath
Roygbiv by Boards of Canada

Length: 1:10:17

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10/09/2009 Episode 2: Re-envisioned Redux feat. 3-Bit

October 12, 2009

In this second second edition of 3-Bit we discuss some games (again). These include Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Tales of Monkey Island, Audiosurf, KOTOR and WoW.

Music Credit:
That’s What I Get by Nine Inch Nails

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9/25/2009 Episode 1: What Hath We Wrought?

October 12, 2009

College dudes spoutin’ off about video games. Specifics include Monkey Island, Scribblenauts, geoDefense Swarm, The Beatles: Rock Band and Halo 3:  ODST.

Music Credits:
The Secret of Monkey Island Theme by Michael Land
Tetris by 2pm