Catherine (PS3) – a flawed curio
Some great ideas, executed not so well. That summarises Catherine in a nutshell for me. It’s a pity because I admire Atlas and their willingness to go off the tried and true path. Like other Atlas titles (notably the Persona series), Catherine is divided into two distinct styles of gameplay. We mostly watch, visual novel style, the protagonist’s intense social challenges in the day, and then take full control of him during his dreams at night in a series of puzzle challenges. Continue reading
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Videogames have found a wealth of inspiration from the first and second world wars, often adding their own quirky takes on the stories of hope and tragedy that emerge from these seismic historical events. (I’m curious to play the Shadow Hearts series, for instance!) Valkyria Chronicles riffs heavily on WWII – it is set in an alternative universe where you fight as the small country of Gallia, stuck between two warring world powers…
Looking Forward, 2016: Sony Always Wins
On this blog (and in life) I’ve resisted gaming on modern consoles. Until now the Wii has been my limit, my only concession to contemporary gaming. But I’ve noticed that I’m slowly running out of games on the previous-generation platforms I own. Those wells aren’t completely dry yet, of course! (I’m currently writing another post detailing just some of the many unplayed games in my backlog.) Still, it is increasingly rare for me to purchase a PS2 or Wii game in a shop, as I now own the majority of games that appeal to me!
Honestly, writing this all out paints a rather tragic picture, but really nothing could be further from the truth. Once I’d settled on “upgrading” to more recent hardware, the situation became less “Disaster: Day of Crisis”, and more “Endless Ocean”. After all, there’s nothing a nerd like myself enjoys more than fussing at length over the tiniest, stupidest, least significant details. Continue reading
Weird Video Wednesday: Konami’s 2010 E3 Press Conference
You don’t just forget about something like Konami’s presentation at E3 2010. Unless you happen to be me. I had completely forgotten about this debacle until a “worst E3 moments” video list reminded me. There are of course, a great many awkward, funny, and yes, even weird E3 moments outside of Konami’s 2010 presentation. But Konami take the cake for cramming all of those merits and more into a single corporate press conference. By turns goofy, creepy, embarrassing, and incomprehensible, rest assured Konami provided gamers with an abundance of riches before their recent withdrawal from the traditional gaming market. Enjoy, and remember, you will be sucked.
Weird Video Wednesday: Chad Warden in da house
He goes by many names: Big Papi, C Wizzy, Chadbaby…
But most know him simply as Chad Warden. ‘Sup bitches. It’s easy to see why Chad Warden was a viral hit back in the early days of the Wii/360/PS3 generation. Hindsight is everything, but at the time I genuinely believed C Wizzy was legit. There was so much hysteria on the internet around the then-new consoles, especially the Wii, that his views didn’t seem so outlandish. His video caused an utter firestorm of hate online, drawing response video after response video shouting Warden down. It wasn’t the racism, the misogyny or the homophobia that caused the outrage, but his views on the new generation of consoles. Over time however, the fact that Warden was a joke became increasingly apparent – especially once decidedly un-gangsta video footage surfaced of C Wizzy sitting and laughing with friends in a sushi restaurant. It took some time, but people were finally able to truly appreciate the genius of Warden’s trolling.
Best of all is that there are still parodies of Chad Warden’s original vids being made to this day, with people still getting fresh mileage out of this young comic genius (who in reality appears to be a mild-mannered, well adjusted young man). There are too many hilarious vids to post them all here, but please, do check out these links to CW on Chatroulette, CW sings/raps “Sony Always Wins”, CW reviews Shovel Knight, CW responds to Super Saiyan kid, CW in Full Metal Jacket, a full twenty minute episode of In the House starring none other than CW… it goes on and on and on. And, somehow, Chad Warden’s concepts of ABAP (As Baller As Possible), PS Triple, and his deconstruction of the Xbox 360 – “we ain’t trying to do geometry, we trying to play some games” – and its popular titles like “Gaylo” and “Tears of War”, remain some of the best and most memorable gaming criticism to date.