ron, Jan-19 2007

Three pieces of advice

  1. Ignore Xevious

    Xevious has popped up just recently on the Virtual Console for us 'ropeans. I last spent time with this game as a toddler in an Italian arcade during summer holidays a long time ago. I was curious to see it again, and boy am I disappointed. Pretty much the only thing one does in the game is wrestling with the controls. Maybe the developers determined their creation wasn't challenging enough with a movement speed above that of a pregnant turtle. Whatever happened there, it plays like a proof of concept. Between stationary ground targets, fast-moving air targets, both in respective shooting and passive flavors, plus the weird rolling monolith of bullet absorption, the only consistent and significant challenge is your own limited movement speed and nothing interesting seems to happen. Bah. And I could swear the arcade machine had nicer graphics and music than this NES version.
    *hides his eyes*
  2. Do not ignore Ratchet & Clank 3

    On sale right now as a "Platinum" re-issue, this is a seriously well-made action adventurethird-person shootergame with lots of guns and slightly RPGesque upgrading elements. Most of the things it does, it does right, offering excellent controls, lots of variety, non-annoying platforming, a few clever puzzles, relevant optional content, beautiful environments, a sensible save system, painless back-tracking with teleporters and stuff, secrets, flexible rules of engagement, nice mini-games, good humor, chaos, mayhem and all the rest. If you see it and are not afraid of a concept known as "jump button", do yourself a favor and pick this up. For the record: this is my first Ratchet & Clank game, so I have no idea how it stacks up in the overall scope of the series, I just know that this one is mighty fine.
  3. Respect your graphics artists

    Hug them regularly. See to it that they eat well. You have no idea how mind-numbingly hard it is to come up with all those little icons and widgets that these adorable people can shake out of their hair in the dozens a day. Or maybe you have; what I wanted to say was that it was I who didn't have an idea.
    I've been trying to glue together pixels to form little review score boxes and classification icons, so that I can finally start pushing out reviews in an organized manner. Hard. I have just about given up on the idea of making them look nice. Plan B is to just get them to convey the information they need to, and even that is … hard.

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