“Blood Dragon really is the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Whereas that meddlesome abortion half-assed it by showing up to ‘80’s Night in a Joy Division t-shirt freshly picked off a Hot Topic shelf, Blood Dragon crashes through the doors in a DeLorean, speakers ear-bleedingly capped at 11, cranking out ‘Bark at the Moon.’”
American Exceptionalism, religious dogma, bigotry, parallel universes, iconoclasm, fate, life, death, gigantic Steampunk bird-men…As the credits rolled on Irrational Games’ much belated, much more anticipated Bioshock Infinite, my head was spinning. The game’s package isn’t slapped with a big, solid M just because the stylized people depicted within often meet gruesome, sky-hooking deaths. It’s because that’s what Infinite is: mature. Through and through.
You’ve likely heard this old diddy, and are likely to have your ears assaulted by the same mantra in years to come, but video games have come a long way. To put a finer point on it, storytelling in games have come a long way. Years from now, when pricey college courses banking on the culture that’s sprung up around this booming medium reflect on the metamorphosis of its storytelling from crudely simple to deeply sophisticated, they’ll reference Bioshock Infinite as an example of the ladder. Hell, it’ll get its own chapter.
“New ideas and some slight refining tweaks skirt around Epic’s established formula, but People Can Fly’s unwillingness to stray off the beaten path, paired with a relatively inconsequential story, ensures Judgment is the weakest entry in the series to date. Ah, don’t make that face. ‘The Bad One’ was bound to happen sometime.”
“Vergil’s Downfall, the first substantial story DLC produced for DmC, gives gamers the chance to again command the other Son of Sparda, wielding Yamato against Hell’s legion, in his own post-campaign narrative. For those of you that lit up at seeing Vergil’s playable inclusion to DMC3 back when the Special Edition released in 2006…Stow your excitement.”
On paper Aliens: Colonial Marines sounded absolutely ace. A direct continuation to one of the most influential and timeless science fiction films of the last fifty years signed off as official canon by 20th Century Fox, developed by Gearbox Software, one of the most renown and rejoiced gaming studios of this generation.
Colonial Marines should have been great. Living and breathing Jimmy Cameron’s universe, a perspective on the future that countless, countless games, novels, and films still unabashedly rip off to this very day, should have made for an engrossing interactive experience that its imitators could hardly match because, instead of playing loose homage to the 1986 film, Colonial Marines had free reign to tap from the source.
I’ve been a huge fan of this franchise since early childhood; my immediate, almost unconscious response to “What’s your favorite movie?” is always “Aliens” without hesitation, and I’ve been excited about this game for a very long time. By the time this review posts, you’re likely to already have heard the sordid truth. It hurts me to say that Aliens: Colonial Marines doesn’t just miss the mark, it makes a vapor cloud the size of Nebraska fifteen miles away from it.
When Ninja Theory, a British development house renown for its unique sense of style, was first tasked by Capcom to reboot and rejuvenate Devil May Cry, it was “The Father of Mega Man” himself, Keiji Inafune, who posed the question that would ultimately shape DmC into the game it is today. What would Dante and his universe look like if imagined as a contemporary film?
The grand result of this thought experiment permeates throughout every inch of DmC with obsessive flair. From the imaginative art design that morphs the world into the twisted, decrepit otherworld mockery of our reality to the clever, full momentum narrative that barely allows its viewers a breath, Ninja Theory has taken complete ownership of Devil May Cry, offering up an entirely new, almost unrecognizable take on gaming’s beloved devil hunter.
And it’s fucking incredible.
Rumor — the invisible force said to actually power the internet — has it that this console generation is coming to a close. If this truly is the last year of this triumphant generation, a generation that began as any other (with pretty graphics and prettier promises) but evolved into a full blown fusion of home media and dedicated gaming, then it’s all the more important to reflect on the virtual adventures 2012 gave us.
We laughed, we cried, we cried even harder trying to slog through Halo 4 on Legendary…2012 was the culmination of six years of advancement, where devs’ were past their growing pains fumbling with new technology and knew how to fully utilize the tools at their disposal. 2012 was a year in which we reaped the benefits tenfold through the sheer amount of excellent games rapid-fired onto store shelves (or, more realistically, Steam shelves. Yeah. Steam shelves).
Capcom’s attempt to reboot this relatively fresh hack n’ slash franchise has been met with the harshest of resistance from day one, forcing DmC into the unenviable position of having to prove itself to longtime fans all over again while still managing to bring in a new generation of would-be demon hunters under its wing. After having most of the year covered with an avalanche of trailers, screens, gameplay previews, and a slew of interviews with people trying to convince you the game is good and that, yes, it really is still Devil May Cry, the general masses are now privy to the one thing both detractors and supporters have been asking for all along: a demo.
“Resident Evil 6 attempts another full-blown evolution of the franchise, and coming from a true-blue fan that quite literally grew up with this series, the results are spectacular…And, sadly, also a bit hollow.”
It’s taken me a godawful amount of time and effort, but I come to you with my comprehensive review of RE6. If you haven’t gathered it from the fact this blog is called The Red Herb, let me inform you that I’m quite a big Resident Evil fanboy. As such — and given that a numbered title release ain’t too often of an occurrence — I indulged a wee bit (I mean to say a lot; a lot) in writing this review. Dare to click the Read More at your own risk.
If you find yourself roped into a conversation about Spider-Man and video gaming, you won’t go long before someone feels obligated to mention Treyarch’s 2004 Spider-Man 2 movie tie-in. It’s as if a blood vessel will burst in their head if they’re unable to remind you how much they loved Spider-Man 2. Before Rocksteady’s Arkham series showed us another plateau of potential, SM2 was widely considered the best superhero game of all time. Why? Simple. Despite being Raimi’s organically webbed, Average Joe interpretation of Spider-Man, and despite having the cruel restrictions of a billion dollar movie license and a very limited amount of time to craft the title, the game managed the unthinkable: it got Spider-Man right.