Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Dark Descent (Or, why I’d be the first person killed in a horror movie)

For my 21st birthday, my friend from The Netherlands gifted me a game on Steam. From my extensive wish list, he picked Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I’d only played Amnesia once with a friend for about 5 minutes and we were terrified! Amnesia has a long history of being able to make you poop your britches with very little effort.

Samara: The First 3D TV experience

I thanked my friend for his gift and wondered if he got kicks out of the fact he knows I’m a wuss.

In fact, when I was 14 or so, I watched the American remake of The Ring. My mother had forewarned me that it was probably too much for my brain to handle. Being the know-it-all teenager I was, I ignored her, brushing off her attempts to protect me. I’m 21 now and I’m *still* slightly worried that Samara is going to crawl out of the television and mummify me.

I’ve played 42 minutes of Amnesia and it’s fantastic. It’s so fantastic that I don’t want to play it out of sheer terror. The atmosphere is the real winner in the game. You’re told from the beginning that should play alone, have headphones so you can hear all the minute details and the shading on the screen needs to be just perfect. That’s just on the outside. Inside the game, books have fallen; winds have blown through the halls I’m travelling down and I’m yet to see another living soul. There is so much emphasis on the fact that you’re alone and unable to defend yourself that you find doing a 360 turn to survey the room is essential, even if nothing is there.

It’s a game I’m doing to have to finish in the middle of the day, with all the lights on, while clutching my teddy bear, I don’t see myself finishing it otherwise.

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The Walking Dead is in Dead Water

Here’s an interesting titbit: Telltale Games has announced that it won’t submit a console port of its game “The Walking Dead” to Australian classification boards. A staff member confirmed the decision was due to a lack of R-rating for games in Australia. However, the game is available on Steam; the PC Game distribution company.

Clearly available for purchase in Australia

As it’s been said time and time again, the people who oppose the R-rating say that the medium differs from others due to interactivity, taking control of the main character and making their decisions. I can understand that logic, but since it’s being released on PC and not on consoles, I suspect there’s something else going on here too. I could just be over thinking things too. Australia is in the final stages of getting our long deserved rating and The Walking Dead could be submitted after it’s been achieved.

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Borderlands Vs Borderlands

I bought Borderlands on Xbox last month after having it on my PC for a year. I’m pretty much in love with this game and I decided that this would be a good time to do a comparison for my two main gaming preferences: Xbox and PC.
Now, before my friends start bitching at me about how PC is better, I’ll tell you to shut up now. I’m the writer, not you, so lemme do my job, okay? Thank you.
Since this is my first time playing Borderlands on my Xbox, the controls are a little difficult to get used too but that passes pretty quickly and there are a variety of mapping options available for you. I’m using default as it seems to make the most sense. The downside is that it does take more skill to use an Xbox controller to shoot after I’ve been using a keyboard and mouse for so long.
I’ve noticed an immediate improvement in the graphics, strangely enough. On my PC, the colours seem dull and boring and on the Xbox, they’re just brighter and nicer to look at.
What I’m disappointed about is that I’m not enjoying it as much as I do on PC. I’ve got a few ideas about why this could be true:


  1. I’m a higher level on PC than on Xbox. My level 49 Siren is a lot of fun to play where as my level 15 Siren on Xbox feels tired. Since it’s on the first playthrough, I’ve done it all before and it’s just got no real replay value on playthrough one.
  2. I don’t have to have Gold status to play with my friends. One of the great things about having it on Steam, I don’t have to pay a subscription. I don’t have the money for another Gold sub.

I think I might need to spend a few hours getting reacquainted with the old girl and find our groove again. We used to have such a beautiful friendship but now we’re not even Facebook Friends ™.

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Replay Value

I was thinking about the mountain of games I have yet to finish, but all I wanted to do was replay BioShock. My love for BioShock isn’t disguised by any means and this sparked a question, “Why, after finishing BioShock 4 or 5 times, do I want to play it AGAIN when I have a plethora of games waiting to even be unwrapped?”

Replay value is a tricky thing to talk about as it varies from player to player. My friend, Aimee (Hi, Aimee!) has replayed Mass Effect a few times and I don’t see the appeal but she doesn’t see my almost orgasmic desire to replay Bioshock. She’s also said that her favourite game to replay is Dragon Age, another RPG, with what she’s described as clunky controls.

The desire is quite bizarre since Bioshock is a linear game with only two real endings and RPG’s like the ones mentioned are fairly repetitive with some missions.

Trying to analyse what we find fascinating about games we replay is easy, however. The elements that make us return to our favourite games to relive moments with characters with love and cherish (or despise). I’ve found new areas to explore with more exciting loot. There’s a lot that you can miss during your first play-through of game and with the added encouragement of achievements, there’s enough content to go back.

There are games I’m always going to keep because of replay value. I think that’s a merit to the developers. They’ve created a game that you can be so attached too, that no matter how many times you play it, you’re never bored of it.

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Sequels: Good or bad?

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a trend emerging within the gaming catalogue. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing. We’re going to be inundated with sequels.

In the next 12 months, we’re going to see GTA V, Assassin’s Creed 3, Borderlands 2 and most likely another Call of Duty game.  It’s great to see that these games are so popular that developers are encouraged to make a sequel but there’s also the risk of over-saturating the market and shooting themselves in the foot.

Let’s use a game I mentioned: Assassin’s Creed.  A quick check of the Assassin Creed Wikipedia page says there will be 5 main games (Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Assassin’s Creed 3), 7 other games and 15 forms of other media. That 27 pieces of Assassin Creed related media in the market at the moment. In fact, I’ve typed “Creed” so much that it doesn’t even look like a real word anymore!

My point is that having that much content related to a game can do more harm than good. I started playing Revelations the other night and had a thought, “Assassin’s Creed had so much potential but wasted so much of it on one character.” In a game where so much history could have been explored, it kind of faulted. In no way does that mean that I didn’t enjoy the game, I just feel a little disappointed by the lack of other story.

I suppose I think that too much of a good thing can kill such a good thing. I want something new and different. I miss ingenuity and creative ideas.

Heaven help the day I get my hands on enough money to make a game. It would be the worst thing on the planet.

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