All About -INKling-
The clickety-clack of keyboards, the occasional jaunty chirp of a telephone and the perfunctory conversation of people who are talking to each other only because they are paid to. I never thought that the office could sound so good but after two weeks of paternity leave it's nice to not have to be nervous about the ticking time bomb that I call my first-born son. Yes, I can now refer to myself as daddy now it is merely factual instead of dirty sounding. It has been two weeks since my wife and I went to hospital to give birth and honestly the first few days were mental torture but things seem to be settling down now as His Majesty The Baby gets used to life outside a cosy womb. Silly boy.
Surprisingly I have managed to get a bit of gaming done in the past couple of weeks between dealing with the verbal toothache of baby cries although my choices have been a bit random. I am finding that a lot of games are more fun the second time around and so I redid the DLC to Enslaved and am almost at the end of Metro 2033. I am also trying to get a game of Bioshock 2 with a GS buddy of mine but this is proving a little too difficult scheduling wise. I'll get there in the end.
Looking forward I am being strangely tempted by XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It's not the kind of game I would normally go for but there is something tugging at me that I can't shake. Usually a game where you can play for 30 minutes and then lose fills me with dread but this is speaking to me. I am a little disappointed that the FPS reboot has now become The Bureau and looks like the combat from Mass Effect in trilbies but I may be wrong and it's far too early to tell.
Also, how about that Xbox One? Ugly little fella isn't he?
Dinosaurs make for great entertainment don't they? Try this for size. Theme Park with dinosaurs. I should just stop there because doesn't that sound awesome? Well how about if I threw in the official Jurassic Park licence with an island ripe for development and more dinos than you could shake a Spinosaurus at? Don't you just wish that such an amazing title existed? Well you'll never guess what, it only flaming does! It's called Jurassic Park Builder, it's on my Kindle Fire right now and best of all it's free! That's right, free.
Alarm bells should be ringing right about now because like my old dad used to say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is and as you may have guessed there are cracks in this impossibly wonderful sounding state of affairs. Big, gaping crevasses that could swallow a herd of Brontosaurus with a couple of Parasaurolophus in the gaps for good measure. Yes, it's one of THOSE free games, the kind that involves no skill, has no true gameplay and is all about collecting stuff so that you can get more stuff to invest in getting even more stuff, a mindless exercise in waiting for a total to fill. Jurassic Park Builder is a shameless cash-in, the sort of cynical money-grabber that companies are flooding the market with in an attempt to get us to part with more money than we would do for a full title made by people that actually care. It's the sort of vacant, idiot-baiting window-dressing that is indicative of an industry that is creatively and morally bankrupt to the point of self-destruction. I think you can see where I am going with this, yes, I can't stop playing it!
Playing isn't even the right word either. There is no game there. All the stuff about watch towers to keep the carnivores away from the herbivores, electrical storms that can lead to escapes or visiting dignitaries that need to be kept safe is total guff. It makes Farmville look like spinning plates on a unicycle while doing long division on an abacus. It's just about slow and steady progression, the kind of trickle that CoD has perfected except with a Gallimimus instead of a gun. Deep down I know all this but even deeper down I know that there is an undeniable truth which takes me right back to the start. Dinosaurs make for great entertainment don't they?
He hatches today!
I finally got to the end of Season 1 and despite a few bumps on the road it was an amazing journey. There are certainly a few criticisms you could level at it and mechanically it can play pretty clunkily but the story of Lee Everett and how he deals with the zombie (sorry, walker) apocalypse is a powerful and moving one. I won't give any spoilers away but when I got to the end I had that drained but euphoric feeling you get after being totally absorbed by an amazing story.
It's great to have a game where characters and story are at the forefront but it still gives me that odd feeling that I have never played a game where gameplay and storytelling are actually one single entitiy. Games are excellent at setting a tone and giving you a sense of place and titles like Fallout 3 and Bioshock give us the feeling of a story with just the environment but would that be enough to carry a game entirely? It would have been interesting to see Bethesda ditch the main storyline quest and just give us a world to explore.
The Walking Dead falls into the other category and is story focussed to the point where gameplay elements can feel like an afterthought and can even detract from the game. Thankfully these moments are few and far between but they do serve to show how difficult it is to create gameplay to serve story. Either way there is one thing that I can be sure of and that's a definite interest in Season 2. Hopefully the success of the first season will give them plenty of time to really fine tune the sequel and I know that I will be very keen to see what they come up with.
My Recent Reviews
May 22, 2013 12:56 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled Peace of a Different Kind
May 17, 2013 8:50 pm GMT-INKling- added Heavy Rain to their owned game list
Apr 29, 2013 4:24 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled The Worst Game I Can't Stop Playing
Apr 23, 2013 1:45 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled Walking Dead Final Thoughts
Apr 10, 2013 4:06 pm GMT-INKling- added Retro City Rampage to their owned game list
Apr 10, 2013 4:06 pm GMT-INKling- added Mark of the Ninja to their owned game list
Apr 8, 2013 12:06 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled I'm Halfway There Adam
Mar 28, 2013 4:36 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled Games Past and Present
Mar 28, 2013 3:46 pm GMT-INKling- added Binary Domain to their owned game list
Mar 20, 2013 1:00 pm GMT-INKling- posted a new blog entry entitled Return to Rapture