My Expectations and Predictions for E3 2012

Last year, I wrote multiple articles before and during E3, but my expectations for E3 2012 are much lower. My expectations for Sony and Microsoft are especially low. At the very least, I am looking forward to hearing more about Nintendo’s WiiU, but I’m unsure if I will like what I hear. Nevertheless, I am interested in hearing more about some video games that have already been announced, and I also have a couple of predictions (though I do not think they are anything groundbreaking). Continue reading

Defining The Legend of Zelda: The Evolution of Puzzles

In my last article, I discussed some of the most basic pieces of the Legend of Zelda “core”, and this time I’m going to begin looking at some of the larger pieces. I’m going to begin with one of my favorite piece of The Legend of Zelda: puzzles.

At a glance, The Legend of Zelda appears to focus on combat above everything else, and in some games in the series that is true. However, puzzle solving has been a part of the Legend of Zelda series from the beginning, and a large portion of the series’ fans play the game primarily to experience new challenging puzzles.

I often see fans debating whether combat or puzzles are more important to the Legend of Zelda series. Fans on both sides claim that their favorite aspect of the game was the focus from the very beginning, but the truth is that both combat and puzzles are a part of the “core” that makes The Legend of Zelda. Whatever the intentions of the developers happened to be in the eighties is no longer relevant today. The Legend of Zelda never stops changing, and even the core aspects of the gameplay have evolved over time.

Continue reading “Defining The Legend of Zelda: The Evolution of Puzzles” at Zelda Universe.

My first impressions of Xenoblade

I picked up my copy of Xenoblade yesterday, and I have played about eight hours of the game so far. I’ve been very impressed with Xenoblade so far; the game was definitely worth all the effort to have it localized.

It didn’t take long for Xenoblade to remind me of World of Warcraft. The huge world, battle system, and quests are all reminiscent of an MMO. I’m a little surprised at how well the-MMO inspired elements work in this single player game.

The battle system has definitely been the highlight of my experience so far, and I was impressed at how quickly the story is paced. The music is also noteworthy; Xenoblade’s soundtrack is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

The only negative comment I have is about the graphics, and this problem has already been highlighted in countless reviews. The environments are massive and gorgeous from a distance, but up close the visuals (especially the character models) are noticeably outdated. Unfortunately that means the graphical problems are most noticeable during the cut-scenes. Regardless, the graphics are a minor complaint; Xenoblade is extremely fun and quickly pulls you in.

Defining The Legend of Zelda: Examining the Basics

How would you define The Legend of Zelda? It is difficult to define something that covers such a large number of subjects and genres. The Legend of Zelda is not solely a puzzle game, an adventure game, or a role-playing game, but it contains elements from all of them. The Legend of Zelda series regularly incorporates ideas from other genres as well. In 2004, Shigeru Miyamoto spoke briefly at Nintendo’s E3 press conference. While on stage he made one very important statement: “The Legend of Zelda never stops changing.”

Even so, there are parts of The Legend of Zelda that never change. I’ve heard these constants referred to as the “core Zelda gameplay” in the past, and it’s a subject I’d like to explore in further detail. Exactly what is the “core Zelda gameplay”?

Continue reading “Defining The Legend of Zelda: Examining the Basics” at Zelda Universe

New Content: Ogre Battle 64

Since I began writing on this website almost one year ago, I had hoped that eventually I could focus some of my writing on specific games. I tried this early on with some games, but I quickly postponed those plans and focused entirely on writing articles and reviews on a variety of topics.

I have decided that the time has come to focus some of my efforts on a specific game: Ogre Battle 64. I chose Ogre Battle 64 not only because it is among my favorite games, but also because detailed information about the game is scarce.  Ogre Battle 64 contains some complex mechanics that aren’t explained in the game.

Truth be told, I have been planning to begin writing guides for Ogre Battle 64 for at least six years. Each time I began, other projects have taken priority. I am glad to finally have the project off the ground as a part of Video Game Insight.

There is only one detailed guide completed at this time, but I will be writing updates on a regular basis along with my other articles and reviews.

Soul Calibur 5 Review

Soul Calibur 5 was released at the end of January and I have spent the last several weeks playing the game regularly. At first I was disappointed that many of the characters From previous Soul Calibur games had been removed but I quickly became attached to some of the characters. I feel confident saying that Soul Calibur 5 is my favorite game in the series and I expect to spend many fun-filled evenings with the game over the next few years.

Since I began playing Soul Calibur the basics of the game have remained about the same. Soul Calibur 4 introduced finishing moves but to this day I have never successfully performed a finishing move (though I have rarely tried). The finishing moves seemed like a nice new feature when it was announced but in the end the moves didn’t change the gameplay at all. Soul Calibur 5 has finally taken the series in a new direction and made real chances to the way the game is played.

Continue reading

Mobile Gaming: A legitimate alternative

This week, I upgraded to an iPhone – my first phone that isn’t just a phone. I have played with iOS devices in the past (specifically an iPod Touch), but never took the time to really look at the type of games that were available.

My masterpiece.

I knew that Square Enix had begun releasing games for iOS, but I had no idea how many, and I was surprised to see some other developers from the console-scene. I haven’t spent the money to buy any of the Square Enix games yet (they are considerably more expensive than most other iOS games), but I expect that I will eventually. I may have beaten Chrono Trigger countless times, but I imagine that I won’t be able to keep it off my phone forever.

So far, I’ve only spent a few dollars on some simple, but well-known, games. I’ve also downloaded a few free games. Draw Something has taken up more time than I ever expected, and I am also enjoying Jetpack Joyride. I expect to be spending more and more time playing games on my phone – this week alone has already taken hours of time away from my Nintendo DSi.

I don’t expect any touchscreen-only device to ever replace a more traditional handheld gaming system, but, for the first time, I consider them to be a legitimate alternative. If nothing else, these mobile games are fun, and that’s what gaming is all about anyway. Continue reading