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Saints & Sinners (Feb. 17)

by on February 17, 2012
 

In the video game industry, the fans are bombarded by two separate yet equally important groups: Saints, who bring with them only the purest form of joy, and Sinners, beings dedicated solely to evoking misery. These are their stories.

My name, as you may have noticed by this particular editorial’s byline, is Drew Robbins, and I’m mad. For almost as long as I’ve lived, I have sat idle as I watch the major players of the industry prey upon the emotions of their fans. Occasionally, their actions are fair and have their followers’ best interests in mind; these men and women are Saints. More often than not, though, they move with swift, menacing action that elicits a reaction composed entirely of primal rage; these men and women are Sinners.

It’s my job as an arbiter of the medium to parse through these, the news stories that comprise any given week, and pass judgement upon the respective studios that they belong to. After all, they can only be one of two things: Saints or Sinners.


Saints

Rockstar Studios: Oh Rockstar, my muse, how often you bring me delight. Based on the recent history of the company, it would be reasonable to expect their placement on this list as the product of more news about either Max Payne 3 or Grand Theft Auto V. As it turns out, they’ve found their way in to Sainthood via the righteous path of last year’s hit adventure game, L.A. Noire.

L.A. Noire, despite whatever quality it may possess, has every right to be dead. The game’s reception was as mixed as any blockbuster out of Rockstar could be, but that isn’t even the major obstacle standing in the way of a second adventure taking place in the shoes of a Los Angeles detective; Team Bondi, the studio responsible for developing the franchise’s debut, completely imploded in the wake of the game’s release and subsequent middling critical appraisal.

There have been far less reasons for the cancellation of a saga, but, even still, L.A. Noire is being toted as a possible recipient of a sequel in the future. Rockstar, mum on any specific details, says not to expect the second game anytime soon; hope is the only thing on offer today from these Saints.

[Story]

 

Players like you: Yes, you read that right; in my first-ever column on Got Game, I’m openly pandering to you, my audience! It’s not because you’re taking valuable time out of your day to read my fledgling effort as a columnist, but instead because it’s people like you that took the money out of your wallet to make sure that this world would be one that sees another Tim Schafer-headed adventure game.

Known only as Double Fine Adventure at the moment, Tim Schafer’s latest game started as a mere concept dependent on the contribution of eager donors through Kickstarter. As it turns out, there are a lot of said eager donors; right now, at this very moment, over $1,800,000 have been spent in support of the iconic developer’s forthcoming effort.

I’m a man that loves only two things: Reese’s Pieces and adventure games. Double Fine Adventure satisfies at least one of those categories. Thanks to Saints like you, I will soon be a very happy man.

[Kickstarter]


Sinners

Capcom: If you’ve ever, for any reason at all, followed my Twitter page (@NGPDrew), then you would know how I feel about Capcom. As Borat would say, “they are pain in my assholes.” They’ve spent the past few years going out of the way to sabotage the Mega Man franchise and, at the same time, tarnish such wonderful fighting genre mainstays as Marvel vs. Capcom; now, they are taking aim at something else that I love: Resident Evil.

I’ll admit that Resident Evil 5 was a rather large departure from the series’ bailiwick, but it wasn’t such a departure that it made me wonder whether or not the game I was so looking forward to was actually a bizarre twist on the Gears of War franchise. Word out of Capcom this week confirmed that, unlike Resident Evil 5, players would have at their disposal such common tropes as shooting while moving, rolling, and ducking for cover. That’s not Resident Evil; that’s every other action game in the industry!

Resident Evil used to be survival-horror but, starting with the fourth game, it has become more like action-horror. In Resident Evil 5, the only fact that kept it from being a straight-up modern combat game was the fact that a limitation in movement still made engaging waist-deep into combat a scary proposition. I worry that now, with the modern staples of the industry, jumping into a battle will become a simplified, mundane experience that any brain-dead zombie (no pun intended) could overcome.

Capcom, you’ve officially stripped the last bit of Resident Evil from Resident Evil 6. Well, that’s a bit of an overreaction; the story still looks as ridiculous as it ever has. You have that much going for you, but you’re still this week’s spotlighted Sinners.

[Story]

 

Naughty Dog: This one hurts; it hurts a lot. Naughty Dog, I love you so, but what the heck are you doing to Uncharted? Golden Abyss, the franchise’s first stint on the Playstation Vita, plays host to so many things that make the series great: fast-paced action, tremendous set-pieces, unrivaled platforming, and bogus touch-screen gimmicks. Oh, wait, that last one wasn’t a part of Uncharted 1, 2, or 3; that’s a nuisance exclusive to the Playstation Vita.

When the Nintendo DS first launched, it was the only system to incorporate touch-screen mechanics. Developers saw this innovation and thought to themselves, hey, let’s just start throwing a bunch of senseless gimmicks into our games! The worst offense was a port of Diddy Kong Racing, a classic from the era of the Nintendo 64, which required players to engage in tedious touch-screen mini-games at the start of every race to start up their vehicle. This would have been cool once, maybe, but it sure wasn’t cool after the thousandth lap around Hot Top Volcano.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss, having been opened up to review earlier this week, has been outed as featuring nonsense of a similar nature. At certain points, the game stops to have you fiddle with the Vita’s highly bizarre and just as highly unnecessary backwards-facing touch screen. You know what my favorite part about Uncharted 2 was? It was the fact that the game threw wave after wave of exciting moments at you with nary the trace of filler in sight. This is 100%, unapologetic filler; shame on you, Naughty Dog, you Sinners.

[IGN]


Judgement has been passed.

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  • Profile photo of Ramon Aranda
    February 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I bought L.A. Noire a few weeks ago for $9! Gotta jump on it soon. I need to finish the first Uncharted too…man I’m dragging ass!

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  • Profile photo of Josh Boykin
    February 17, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Yeah, you definitely need to work your way through Drake’s Fortune, man…that game’s fantastic. L.A. Noire is a great one too, but I’m not sure how I feel about giving it the sequel treatment…personally, I felt like the game’s beginning and end were great, but that’s because of the focus they had on the characters. They lost that focus in the middle, and in the process almost lost me, too.

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    • Profile photo of Aris Bran
      February 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      The same thing happened to me while I was playing L.A. Noire. I felt like giving up towards the middle cause it just lost my focus.

      I honestly think that this doesn’t need a sequel but it would be interesting to see what sort of upgrades Rockstar will implement.

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  • Profile photo of Drew Robbins
    February 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    @Ramon – Editor, Bossman Extraordinaire…King of Ass Draggery.

    @Josh Boykin – I agree that I’m not sure L.A. Noire really needed a sequel. However, I am happy to see that it’s at the very least being considered for one. I don’t think the industry has enough games of this nature and seeing more in any way, shape, or form sounds like a good deal to me.

    @UnlimitedLives – I’m one of the few people that actually enjoyed the Vice desk more than the Murder desk, but once the game got to Arson it was a bit of downward slope. That being said, I enjoyed it all the way through in spite of its flaws. Rockstar games always get me, and this one had its hooks in me like no other.

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  • Profile photo of ubernaut
    February 18, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    @ggdrew welcome aboard in order to mention people (notify them that they have been mentioned) you must make sure you use their short names (you can find those by clicking on their avatars or names to visit their profiles) Ramon’s is @franchise2 and Josh’s @joshbatman 🙂

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  • Profile photo of Aris Bran
    February 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    @Drew Robbins – I agree with what you said to @Josh Boykin. The industry needs more variety.

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  • Profile photo of thatguyyoudontknow
    February 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    I’m on the fence about Resident Evil. Yes, 6 may be WAAAAY out there in the gameplay but then Capcom goes around and does Resident Evil Revelations which uses the old movement style and you wonder why they do that instead of going with the style of 6.

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  • Profile photo of Aris Bran
    February 20, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Well story wise the game isn’t your original survival horror that made the franchise. The virus has been upgraded to different variations which makes these zombies faster than the ones you had to fight before. So, it would make sense that the gameplay with differ from the the original controls that we love/hate. You can bring back the original controls back but I’m sure that the design of this game is to make it more fast paced and intense.

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