Archive for May, 2012

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Review

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 is the latest episodic adventure from Telltale Games. Based more on the comic book series than the television show, you take on the role of Lee Everett, a former history teacher (and new character to the series) whose fate you will be responsible for throughout Telltale’s budding saga.

Being a huge fan of the Walking Dead television series piqued my interest greatly in Telltale’s game. A world invaded by zombies that places an emphasis on the survivors’ emotions rather than just seeing how many zombies one can kill is interesting.  The Walking Dead video game promises to be the same way, where instead of killing waves of zombies, you find yourself interacting with survivors and seeing the fear and emotional toll this horrific event has on them. The game does a good job with this, giving you dialogue tree choices much like an RPG would. Your choices affect just how others will both view and react to you, as well as how certain situations (both in this game and in future episodes) will play out.

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The Top 100 Nintendo Games

You’ll have to excuse us if things get a little quiet around here; I still have a lot I need to do to prepare for this year’s E3 (not to mention a few articles I still need to write before the event), so I won’t have much free time to contribute to Player-2. I’m sure my colleagues will do a fantastic job of picking up my slack while I’m gone (especially considering how well they’ve kept the blog running these past few weeks), but given how few contributors P-2 has, it’s inevitable that one person’s absence will have an impact on its output.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you all some of the most recent happenings at Nintendojo. As you may not know, last week the website celebrated its 100th issue since its relaunch two years ago, and to commemorate the event we put together a list of the top 100 Nintendo games of all time. Of course, it would be impossible to objectively rank games that span over seven console generations, so rather than try to organize them by overall quality, we divided the list up into five smaller sub-lists that each covered a specific time period. I was in charge of organizing the top 20 games of 1996-2000 (with a little help from Nintendojo’s co-editor-in-chief, Andrew Hsieh), but I also made a small contribution to the top 20 games of 2006-2011. I have to say, looking back on all of the great games to have graced Nintendo platforms, I’m glad I was fortunate enough to experience many of them at the height of their importance. I hope you enjoy our little trip down memory lane as well, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks!

Chronicling Xenoblade: An Ongoing Review, Part 1

It’s no secret that Xenoblade Chronicles may very well be the last big Wii game (both in terms of scope and importance) to hit the console before it is inevitably pushed aside for the next generation, so I thought it’d be a fitting tribute of sorts to record my thoughts on the game as I delved ever deeper into it. Like 1UP’s coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic, this feature will be written in lieu of a traditional review (as Xenoblade is simply too large to properly critique in a single article) and will detail my journey through the game’s storyline. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum so as to not ruin the experience for anyone who wishes to play it for themselves, but given the very nature of this exercise, it’s inevitable that a few will slip through the editing process. That being said, I hope you’ll stick with me over the course of the next month or so as I make my way through Nintendo’s sprawling techno-fantasy, which is shaping up to be one of the finest RPGs the company has ever published.

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Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is arguably the showpiece for the newly released PS Vita. It promises to feature a PS3-like experience in the palm of your hand. Does it live up to the hype, though? While the PS Vita version of Uncharted looks and sounds the part, some tacked-on features hold it back from truly being masterful.

First, let’s just get the graphics out of the way. Simple enough, they nailed them. While yes, Uncharted 3 may look better, for a handheld game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is mind-blowing. Everything from character models, lighting, the scenery, and texture work looks top notch here. This could easily be confused with most PS3 titles out there. It’s simply amazing that I was holding a game this good-looking in the palms of my hands.

So yes, the graphics meet and even exceed expectations, but what about the gameplay? Doing normal Uncharted things like shooting and climbing feel absolutely fine with the Vita. The dual analog sticks make you feel right at home with the combat, and climbing is just as it is in the rest of the series. A nice touch for climbing is the ability to drag your finger across a path you want Drake to travel using the touchscreen. It’s a nice feature to speed up those longer climbing segments. Speaking of the touchscreen, this is where Golden Abyss gets a little out of control. It seems the developers went out of their way to make sure you’re using the touchscreen, and the back touch pad, of the Vita far too often.

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