Tuesday, July 26, 2011

super.hype: The Last Summer of Your Natural Life

Things are moving along at a rather nice clip for me lately (after having had some real major exposure to the soft, gleaming underbelly of indie game development) and it's left me feeling rather sentimental for the old days when games weren't about horsepower or graphical fidelity, but pure imagination.

Luckily for me, the internet is so good at keeping the purity of those things separate from what I'm about to show you today: pure, unfiltered AAA hypenard.

Ready?

What you lack in speed, skill, and stature,
you try to make up for in super.hype.
Tonight at the bar, an opportunity arises...


You may have noticed that I now have this fancy-shmancy RSS feed Newsticker widget running across the top of my blogposts. I put it there not because I don't find my own material interesting enough to keep people around, but because the more time I spent on my site (as I do spend quite a considerable amount of each day on it, revising it, watching it, watching it, watching it, watching it...) the more I realized how useless it often was when considering "actual" video-game related news. I can't do news. I'm not in the industry. I don't have "industry contacts" or some vague pretense of a connection with some guy who knows somebody who happens to work in the database programming department of a major publisher who happens to own a recent popular developer. I'm one dude. ONE DUDE. So in my own little one-dude-kind-of-way, I outsource it. That's right AAA gamesblogs, I outsource my news to YOU. YOU'RE gophering about, finding MY news. THE TABLES HAVE TURNED! HA! HOW DO YOU LIKE *ah whatever.* 

Anyways. One such headline recently announced a preview for the sequel to THQ/Vigil's 2010 blockbuster Darksiders. The original was hailed as a 3D Zelda clone, to great effect. This time around, I think we can be sure they'll stick with the tried-and-true.
Very Large Weapon - Exhibit A
According to sources, there are going to be some changes, namely:
  • Greater emphasis on RPG-stylings such numbers to represent damage and branching skills progression.
  • New protagonist, Death, who is not the successor of War (a logical choice) but rather the brother.
  • Flashier combat. This is probably more of an upgrade than a change.
Fans of the first game will probably feel at home with this one, while those who felt underwhelmed may be enticed by the faster combat and revamped progression. I haven't played the first, but I am a fan of Very Large Weapons.

Very Large Weapon - Exhibit B
Starhawk
This looks to be something interesting.
I prefer Third-person shooters over First-person shooters mostly because they provide a more realistic perspective on what it's like to actually be in combat. Humans have the ability to sense what's out and about around them and aren't necessarily locked into the kind of views that most first-person games force upon us. So I'm glad that Starhawk is taking that approach instead of going with some kind market-driven conclusion that I'm sure Sony had them consider before allowing them to release on the PSN.
What TPS also does is allow for more varied mechanics without breaking action flow. Seeing as how Starhawk not only features vehicles along with its on-foot gameplay, It also includes pseudo-RTS style building and unit management. If Sony Santa Monica can pull this off, I can see it taking over the same crowd that probably would have bought into Section 8: Prejudice (if they had ever known about the game...*sigh*).
Man, Section 8: Prejudice really got the short end of the stick.

There's also some new media floating about containing Star Wars: The Old Republic visdata, but that game is just so many broken promises and half-truths that I almost feel bad putting it up.

Anyway, here it is:

And for those of you foolish enough to come this far
My recent reckless forum crawling on TIGSource has revealed a great little independently developed free pixel art class-based online team shooter called MASJIN (masheen, machine, your choice). You can download the full client through the link, on the first post of that thread. Those of you for whom the idea of "FREE pixel art class-based online team shooter" is not enough to prompt an immediate download, here are some screenshots:
 
Click dis one, please
 Many people have requested a dedicated server be released so we can run our OWN servers, but for now the client supports client-side hosting at least. Maybe with a bit more persuasion, he can be convinced to create it. Oh, and for those of you who are "in the know", yes, I know that this game looks frighteningly similar to Gang Garrison 2 and Soldat and to that I say, that market is nowhere near saturated, buddy.

As you leave the bar with your newest conquest,
you reflect again upon the fateful day when you decided to sacrifice food, sleep, and exercise, all for super.hype. 
The best decision of your life, bitches.