Rhythm games are another genre that I've never been all that good at, but love to play. Perhaps it's because I'm a big music fan, but it could just be because Audiosurf is one of the greatest games ever made. However, unlike Audiosurf, most rhythm games are stuck to a rigid progression tied to some average music. There's no better case of an entire genre living and dying by the quality of its soundtrack.
I was pretty close to skipping this week altogether, as my sketchbooks have been neglected this week in favour of other things. Most of the time I can prattle on and find something to write about, so I thought this week I'd substitute the pens and pencils for something a bit closer to the blog.
As much as I often cringe at multiplayer focused games, there's something about MMOs that I find fascinating. The first time I entered a persistent online world was with Ultima Online: Third Dawn, way back when it was amazing that something so complex could work over dial-up internet. Now with PCs packing more power and the average internet connection offering reliable pings, the options have grown to accommodate a new range of genres to enter the MMO space.
It's that time of year again when everything E3 hits the internets for another annual indulgence of video game hype. Not to mention the unrivaled corporate shilling PR spin that knocks you sideways while all these companies talk about how much they love us. It's nice to think that there are corporations out there that actually care… for the money we spend.
Don't you love how creativity can take so many different forms? It's like there's a never ending pool of fascination to dive into and explore. This week I actually have some doodles that I can talk about directly as they're a realistic example of how useful a doodle can be.
A long time ago, in a basement not so far away; a friend and I spent an entire afternoon trying to get Doom II running on their PC. They had a brand new 16-bit sound card to try out, and I had a copy of the full game backed up on about sixteen floppy discs. It was astronomical to conceive of such a huge game that used the cutting edge technology of the time. When we finally got it running, the 16-bit grunts of the Pinkies would forever be etched into my memory.
Isn't it strange how it seems to be only when we make plans that those plans get diverted for unpredictable priorities?! It's probably redundant to say so, as it's only noticeable when something gets in the way, like how you find your keys in the last place you look… because you stop looking once they're found. Never fear though, we muddle along regardless with a blissful ignorance to alternative diversions.
With Steam Greenlight slowly dying at the side of the road, it might be worth having a think about some of its relative success stories. I say relative, because there's a bit of a well-earned stigma around Greenlit games, which are arguably considered to be of lower quality than the dreaded Early Access title. On the flip side, we now have a bunch of weird little games that probably would never have seen the light of day without the Greenlight entry point.
Are we waiting at the station or staring out the window as the world rolls by along the route to an undefined destination? Sometimes creativity can feel like a limbo of sorts, that consistently fluctuates to maintain our position in the middle.
One rainy afternoon in high school, I rode the bus home and a guy in my year handed me a cassette. It was Soundgarden's Superunknown; "you wanna buy that from me?" he asked, but I wasn't sure so borrowed it to have a listen. Of course I knew who Soundgarden were, but this was the first I'd seen of their new album and I was a kid in school with no money.
For the longest time, I didn't have a console in the house to play games on. Since the SNES I had been a PC gamer, but when the shiny new Playstation 3 was released, I knew it was time to dive back in. One of the first games I played on this fancy new generation was Ninja Theory's hack and slash Heavenly Sword. It was the pinnacle of graphics, but suffered from a short campaign with uninspired combat. I didn't care at the time, because I was blown away by the experience, so continuing the journey with Enslaved: Odyssey To The West couldn't go wrong.
Sleep is setting in as I fumble together this post at the last possible minute. As you can tell from an obvious lack, it's been another week of distractions and amusements that left the blog on the back burner. So let's get small and talk about the encouraging outcomes of experimentation within limitations, because… zzz.
This one is all about the crappy doodles...
I find it increasingly hard to put up with a game that leans on easy one liners and fourth wall breaking in an attempt to shoehorn humour into its writing. It's often on the nose and fails to add any actual wit to the writing, so I'm a little surprised at how much I forgave Her Majesty's Spiffing after it quickly stumbled across the finish line. There's something to be said about self-awareness, but there's something else to be said about it being the sum total of an experience.
For a new console to have a killer game available on release day, it usually takes something special. Recently a whole bunch of people got excited about a new Zelda title gracing the shelves along with the Nintendo Switch. So much so, that the game has outsold the console (at time of writing). When I think back to awesome launch titles I've played, I inevitably draw a blank. Often it's much easier to remember the disaster of a game like Lair (PS3 launch), or some shoe-horned Kinect driven abomination.
It never ceases to amaze me just how much we rely on interpretation and assumption to gauge our place in the world. Often we attempt to attach meaning to the mundane, despite the subjective nature of experience. Yet we dare to draw on experience for inspiration when we can hardly trust our own reality at the best of times. There must be a way to test the boundaries of the universe and come to a shared knowledge for universal interaction.
I was going to just post a follow up to the pose practice I started doing with Clip Studio Paint, but after finishing off that particular drawing I didn't have a lot to say about it. However, it struck me that often when I'm practicing techniques or learning software, I never actually finish anything one hundred percent. I have a whole lot of "could be better" pieces that will never be taken further, so let's talk about why instead.
You know how no-one can eat all the eggs? Well sometimes in the midst of artistic narrative story telling games, I need a diversion from abstraction and meaning. It's why I'm a fan of button mashing games like the Dynasty Warriors series, and it's why I enjoyed the B-Movie hack and slash antics of Onechanbara Z2: Chaos.
This year has been insane so far when it comes to quality big game releases. So much so, that my backlog of recently released games is pretty stellar with Nier: Automata and Horizon: Zero Dawn waiting patiently for their turn. However, after being convinced by the beta, I did manage to spend over a hundred hours messing about in the huge open world of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
Another busy week gone by with only a few morsels to show for it, so let's keep this short and sweet. I'm working on a few things here and there, so will post about anything that happens when it does. For now though, let's stick to a couple of drawings and look ahead at what's around the corner.