Archive for August, 2013

Getting the Basics Right

Because I’m not a game designer, I will act like everything in this article is super easy to do.

Modern videogames do a lot of things right. The so-called AAA blockbuster games are more cinematically engaging than ever before and despite the at times stagnant annualised releases of mega franchises, there are new and exciting things to be found within big releases all the time. And of course the indie game development scene continues to serve up some real gems.

However, all types of games to this day are guilty of not including some simple practical features that surely must count as rudimentary by now. In my book including these miniscule but super-convenient features makes your game just that little bit better, no matter what, even if their presence won’t fix any major problems with game design. What’s more, they require little to no creativity to execute. I’ve noticed enough of these regular and baffling omissions to write up a decent-sized list. It’s certainly a subjective list but I’m sure I speak for a lot of people on some of these in particular. And sure, there are some modern games that nail all of these bread-and-butter inclusions (or at least all the ones they can), but I still find it more than a little weird just how rare these games are.

I’ll admit that some of these entries may be harder to execute in practice than they are on paper, but from where I stand it’s hard to see how they could be any more difficult to implement than any other aspect of making a game. Also, about half of these things are specific to a certain console.
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1. Include an hour counter.

Really, this is the feature that inspired me to write this list. It is the one basic thing that I see most frequently left out of games these days and surely one of the absolute easiest things to fix. Being able to tell just how long you have played a game helps you judge its worth and makes conversations about said game involve a lot less guesswork. This is especially handy for RPGs, which tend to involve a great deal of time sinking, but a counter really should be included in every kind of game, because really, where’s the downside? The likes of the Pokemon franchise have been doing this for decades but the best recent example of great usage I can think of is Tales of Graces f, which not only has an overall time counter at your fingertips whenever you bring up the menu, but boasts a second counter right underneath the first to gauge the length of individual play sessions. Top form, Namco Bandai.

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Movie Review: The World’s End

The Blood and Cornetto trilogy comes to a rather spectacular end.

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Starring:
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike
Director:
Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz)
Rating: MA15+
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Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are surely, by now, a team of near-legendary status. Their cooperation begat the amazing 2004 British comedy classic Shaun of the Dead and its spiritual successor, 2007’s fantastic Hot Fuzz. Fans of the two off-beat, violent and absolutely hilarious films have been waiting an awfully long time for the third and final film in what is now known as the “Blood and Cornetto” trilogy (though in the interim Wright did give the world the wonderfully stylish graphic novel adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs The World). Finally, here it is, armed with explosions and laughs and plenty of beer. This is The World’s End.

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.5

mubc2Episode 5 of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast (MUBC) is sadly lacking Delaney, as he was otherwise engaged during our recording session. We bring in our first-ever guest on the cast, a man by the name of Lindbeck, to discuss our thoughts on the Legend of Zelda series, Planetside 2 and a few very worthwhile movies, chief among them the third in the much-loved Blood and Cornetto trilogy. Good times are had by all. I realise now that I spam the word “cartoony” in the last half hour or so.

Annoyingly, I say Link’s Awakening around the 51 minute mark but I mean A Link to the Past. Just clearing that up.

If you feel so inclined, download the following file (or just click play), go for a run, take a scenic drive or just curl up on the couch and listen to the biased opinions of three Nintendo-loving Sydneysiders. Because again, there is no Delaney.

Here it is, as always direct from Soundcloud:


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https://soundcloud.com/mega-ultra-blast-cast/mubc-05-favourite-zelda

(Follow the link and then click the download tab)

If you enjoy what you hear please share the cast with your friends and like our Facebook page. Cheers!