June 14, 2010
We featured Jason Poage’s initial creations for PS3-exclusive 3D Dot Game Heroes last month, and he’s not been resting on his pixellated laurels. He’s gone all retro and produced a new range of characters based on the FPS classic Doom. Here’s what he has to say on his continued fascination with the game and its associated online editors:
“I’m not sure what it is about 3D Dot modeling that makes me so drawn to it. I guess that I just enjoy working with limitations and constraints, using them to do an impression of the subject I’m trying to portray. Or maybe I spent too much time playing with Legos as a kid, I don’t know.”
May 25, 2010
Meet Pinhead. He is the colourful, slightly deranged fruits of my first Modnation Racers labour. Initially built in the free demo available to all on the PSN Store, the full game of ModNation Racers recognised that I’d already used their comprehensive suite of creation tools – which in fact was only a smidgeon of what I’ve subsequently found to be available in the retail version – and imported him for immediate use. It’s a thoughtful touch that immediately casts a positive light on United Front Games’ stab at the ‘Play. Create. Share.’ mantra that LittleBigPlanet so expertly established. And , judging by the handful of hours I’ve sunk into ModNation Racers, it is a positivity that is only tempered by a few creeping doubts.
I only got around to playing last week’s new PS3-exclusive release 3D Dot Game Heroes yesterday, and have yet to check out its character creation editor, but some people have been busy beavering away at recreating their favourite videogame characters block by painstaking block. Jason Poage (a.k.a. @zi11ion), from across the pond in North Carolina, USA, has been mastering Q-BLOCK, a web-based ’3D Dot’ model creator, in order to produce the fantastic creations that you can see after the break, and also over on Jason’s personal blog, Final Star. My favourite is the recreation of Isaac Clarke from Dead Space, who here looks rather cute – for a limb-severing hardass, that is. See if you can correctly identify the others.
Jason has also been kind enough to supply the character file for Megaman (above) so you too can play as the Blue Bomber. Go here to download the ZIP file.
Haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about? I’ll be posting some First Impressions of 3D Dot Game Heroes later on today.
April 26, 2010
According to the developers of games for consoles such as the Philips CD-i and the Panasonic 3DO, FMV was the future of gaming. In the PS1 era, FMV was the medium of choice to explain narrative in the form of filmed cutscenes. Fast forward to 2010, and FMV is used as the chief game mechanic for this weeks minis game, Hysteria Project.
April 13, 2010
As readers of my over-verbose discourse on all things videogames will testify, I am rarely lost for words. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger leaves me lost for words. A snapshot of Japanese insanity, conched in a beat ‘em up whose mechanics I have barely penetrated after a few hours play, BlazBlue both baffles and intrigues. With knowledge of fighting games stretching no further than the ubiquitous Street Fighter series, BlazBlue represents a bold step into the unknown for me, and it’s very fortunate that the Limited Edition of BlazBlue comes with a DVD stuffed full of tutorials on how to master its intricate complexities.
March 29, 2010
As a big fan of alliteration, there was only ever going to one title to pick for the inaugural minis Monday column on infinitecontinues, wasn’t there? The unashamedly silly-named Manic Monkey Mayhem is the winner of this dubious honour. Launched on the 1st October 2009 and intended as easily downloadable content for newly-launched and much-maligned PSPgo, the minis range was thrown open to PS3 users with a firmware update just before Christmas. I’ve hitherto avoided them for one simple, shallow reason – I’m a trophy whore and minis will not furnish me with any! In a bid to throw open the breadth of gaming content on infinitecontinues, a new column called minis Monday will appear every (you guessed it) Monday to cater for those that enjoy snack-sized gaming on the go or on the sofa.
February 28, 2010
It is hard to judge Heavy Rain against its contemporaries as it doesn’t fit into established genres. It’s impossible to compare its mechanics with those of another title, because it doesn’t bear any similarities to other games, other than the developer’s previous work, Fahrenheit. With such a bold stab at originality, where rulebooks are torn up and discarded with a sneer, it’s an impossibility that Heavy Rain will appeal to everyone. For those entrenched in familiar videogame tropes, in health bars and smashable crates, in boss fights and collectibles, it will be derided as a 10-hour long movie where you decide the outcome; a choose-your-own-adventure book transposed into a Blu-ray disc. But that would be missing the point entirely – Heavy Rain is not only an astonishingly polished attempt at true originality, it’s also a fantastic slice of digital entertainment in its own right.
February 20, 2010
If ‘Hell is other people’, then nobody told Visceral Games. To them, Hell is rivers of boiling blood. It’s enormous beasts with mouths for hands. It’s a clutch of babies with scythes for arms that have been birthed by a mouth-shaped nipple on an extremely large blue tit. To the players of their videogame adaption of Dante Aligheri’s 14th-century epic poem, Hell is illogical puzzles, cheap deaths, laughable voice acting and unlikeable characters.
February 17, 2010
There has been a trend over the last six months for sequels to take the promising first stab at a new franchise and improve upon it very successfully, whether that be Assassin’s Creed 2 taking an original premise mired in repetition and creating a wonderfully varied, long adventure out of it; or Uncharted 2 taking the very solid and slick Drake’s Fortune and turning the dial up to 11 for Among Thieves, improving upon it in every way. BioShock 2 then, was always going to have its work cut out – the original foray into Rapture was a stunning game, one lavished with universal acclaim, Game Of The Year awards and even a BAFTA. It was the shock of the new that elevated BioShock to it’s lofty critical perch; total immersion in a city like no other the player had ever experienced. Shorn of that surprise, would a return to Andrew Ryan’s ‘utopia’ deliver the same highs in Rapture’s dark depths as its predecessor?
February 11, 2010
Set in the submerged, dystopian city of Rapture and championing the power of the self over the collective, the original BioShock proved that game developers could take literature as its chief inspiration and still craft a fun but mature game based on its premise. The works of author Ayn Rand, particularly The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, played a crucial part in forging the atmosphere and underlying ethos of Rapture, and was the primary reason why I stuck with BioShock through to the bitter end when the gameplay mechanics had grown a little repetitive. Two and a half years later, I was keen to find out whether the narrative of its successor, BioShock 2, was the game’s saving grace or one of many highlights.