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3061  Media / General Games / SpyParty on: August 30, 2011, 03:25:38 PM

This is the most interesting and original game I saw at PAX so I figured I would give it its own thread.  It's an indie game still in development so the graphics aren't exactly anything to talk about but the concept is brilliant.

It's an asymmetric match between two players.  One player takes on the role of a spy at a party (wow, hence the name) with a number of AI-controlled guests and is given various objectives to accomplish.  The objectives include things like planting a bug on an ambassador attending the party, contacting a double agent by saying a key phrase, etc.  The other player is a sniper who is supposed to kill the spy.  But he doesn't know who the spy is.  So the player controlling the sniper is trying to carefully observe the guests at the party to look for tells that give away the spy (for instance some of the spy actions have distinctive animatiosn) while the spy is trying to accomplish his goals while being as subtle as possible.  If you're a spy you don't want to rush straight for your objective but rather stop and mingle with the party guests and basically try to act like the AI.  There is some really deep, subtle gameplay here.  Just as an example, holding something (like a drink) can prevent the spy from carrying out certain actions, so it's generally undesireable.  On the other hand, since it's undesireable you might want to do it deliberately to reduce suspicion.  But without being too obvious about it...

Unfortunately there is no public demo available at this point.  They are doing sign-ups for a limited paid beta (following the Minecraft model) but they're still keeping the number of beta testers small at this point.
3062  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: PAX 2011 on: August 28, 2011, 09:54:44 PM
Well, PAX is over.  I'm exhausted.  Saw Arkham City and Rage today, as well as a few smaller and indy titles.  Maybe I'll write more later...is anyone actually reading these posts? ;)
3063  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: PAX 2011 on: August 28, 2011, 03:07:44 AM
Bioware had an odd we-haven't-actually-announced-Dragon-Age-3-but-we're-clearly-working-on-Dragon-Age-3 panel.  It was filled with vague statements along the lines of, "here are the kind of things we might be thinking about for the future..."

Anyway, the game-that-shall-not-be-named-but-is-clearly-Dragon-Age-3 is going to have:
  • Larger scale.  Likely the whole of they free marches.  They hinted at going even bigger in the future and including most of Thedas, but that's likely for a game even further off.
  • "Hawke's story isn't finished."  However they do want to introduce a new protagonist eventually.  The Warden's story is finished, however, at least as far as being a player character.
  • It will still be a very political story, though.  The real enemy is man's weakness (I'm probably paraphrasing but they said something to that effect).
  • I was very happy to hear that they are going to be putting a lot more emphasis on the positioning aspect of combat.  They want more environmental interaction and tactical gameplay.
  • They repeatedly used the phrase of 'designing encounters' rather than just plopping in a bunch of enemies.
  • There will also be a greater emphasis on working as a team and having complementary abilities between party memebers.
  • But the combat will still have the flair introduced in Dragon Age 2.  Get used to it.
  • Being able to change the armor of your party members will return.  That's one thing they were pretty explicit about, going so far as to show a screenshot of the inventory system (oh, and Merrill was pictured).
  • Got to hear a room of 600 people boo when somebody asked about doing a Dragon Age MMORPG.  This has nothing to do with Bioware's position on the subject, but I thought it was interesting.

OK, enough of that.  I also saw a very interesting Bioshock Infinite panel that mostly focused on the process of developing the characters Booker and Elizabeth as well as their voice acting.  I enjoyed it from the perspective of learning how all this stuff comes together behind the scenes, but I can't say there was any new information about the game revealed.

I went to Airtight Games' panel that showed off Quantum Conundrum for the first time.  It's a downloadable first-person physics-based puzzle game being developed by one of the designers of the original Portal.  The Portal influence is pretty obvious in terms of the mechanics: distinct puzzle rooms, push switches to get blocks (sorry, safes here...), a wacky science theme, and a core mechanic that involves crazy physics manipulations to solve puzzles.  Stylistically the game is completely different, though, going for a very cartoonish, family-friendly look rather than the dark humor of Portal.

The only games I actually had time to play today (the lines are the worst on Saturday...) were Lollipop Chainsaw and Skyrim.  The former was silly fun.  I found it pretty easy but I was told the difficulty was tuned down for the demo in order to give everyone a shot at completing it.  The Skyrim demo was...meh.  You would think for a short demo they would try to show off some of the more cinematic aspects of the game, but no instead they just plop you down in the wilderness with no objective or sense of direction and let you wander around for 15 minutes.  Sure wandering around in the wilderness is a big part of these games, but that's just the thing: I've done it before.  I felt like I was just playing a prettier version of Oblivion.
3064  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: PAX 2011 on: August 27, 2011, 12:59:08 AM
Well, PAX has started.  Maybe I'm just getting jaded but I haven't seen anything that really impressed me yet.  Sure Uncharted 3 looks great, but that's to be expected and they weren't showing anything new (well, Gamescon wasn't very long ago...).

The one game I played today that does stand out in my mind is actually Asura's Wrath.  That game is every bit as ridiculously over-the-top as you have seen in the previews but somehow it just works.  Ridiculously over-the-top can be fun.

I'll try to hit up Skyrim early tomorrow.  I was going to try it today but the line was awfully long...
3065  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Merged Final Fantasy XIII-2 Thread on: August 27, 2011, 12:40:34 AM
Played a pretty meaty demo of this at PAX today.  It was...I don't know.  More FFXIII, I guess.  One thing they certainly did change was having more interesting locations than just straight tunnels, as well as towns and the like.  But otherwise it feels a lot like FFXIII, and I had more complaints about that game than just the super linearity (though it is nice to see that addressed...).
3066  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: August 26, 2011, 11:27:56 AM
PAX begins!
3067  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Thread (merged) on: August 26, 2011, 12:36:43 AM
Oh man...

I'm playing the game on my PS3.  Played for like 5 hours pretty late into the night Tuesday night but I didn't have time to play at all last night.  Started it up again tonight hoping to pick up where I left off.  I select load and get the message: "There are no saved games available."

For a while there I was completely freaking out wondering what the heck happened to my save data.  Then I had a moment of inspiration, and realized that sure enough, I had started the game after unwittingly logging in under my Japanese PSN account rather that my usual US one.  Now I'm wondering what to do...I would really rather be earning the trophies and stuff under my US account but I don't really want to restart at this point.  Is there some way to move the save data over?  (I know that won't affect trophies I already earned but I'm still not very far in the game)

Edit:  Well, apparently *some* saved data you can just copy to a USB stick or something, but other data (including in the Deus Ex saves) is protected and won't let you do that.  Grr, why do they do this shit?
3068  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Thread (merged) on: August 25, 2011, 03:59:43 PM
Everything is yellow, and that's starting to get to me.

It's not yellow, it's gold.  Gold and black were traditional colors of the renaissance and it was an intentional artistic decision to use them for the whole neo-renaissance theme.  Frankly I like it.

As for the controls, yeah it's a little different but personally I think it's better than the standard approach and it didn't take my any time at all to get used to it.
3069  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: NIS America is bringing Black Rock Shooter to NA and Europe on: August 25, 2011, 12:25:37 PM
What's a Black Rock Shooter? ...can I eat it? :<

Gather 'round and I shall tell 'ye a tale.  It's actually kind of confusing where BRS came from...

Once upon a time an artist going by 'Huke' posted a character illustration of Black Rock Shooter on Pixiv (a Japanese art sharing site).  At that time that's really all there was to it, like so many other illustrations on that site.  As it happened Ryo from the band Supercell saw the illustration, like it, and decided to make a song about it.  He used the vocaloid Hatsune Miku to do it and this was right around the time the whole vocaloid phenomena was starting to take off.  Huke then joined in to provide illustrations for the accompaning music video.

The video proved to be extremely popular and has had millions of views.  Then the merchandising started.  Good Smile Company got involved and started making BRS figures, a short straight-to-video anime was made, and there's even a manga.  And now there's this game.  The actual stories are all over the place, though.  There isn't actually any connection between the anime OVA and this game, other than that they both feature BRS.  I believe there is actually another anime in the works that will be a TV series starting in January.

So yeah, the origins of this game are saturated with Japanese fandom. 
3070  Media / Single-Player RPGs / NIS America is bringing Black Rock Shooter to NA and Europe on: August 24, 2011, 11:51:49 PM
Prinny Bomb

Of course this was hinted at a while ago and I even remember a third party (Good Smile Company, who make the figures and stuff) implying that the localization was already being worked on at Anime Expo, yet NISA has been oddly silent on the topic.  Now it's finally official.

Guess the PSP isn't quite dead in the US yet.
3071  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: PlayStation Vita Announced (late 2011, $249/$299 for WiFi/3G+WiFI) + some games on: August 24, 2011, 03:13:58 PM
But when consumers are saying it, I really don't understand. It really depends on the types of consumers. If you are a very, very casual person who might just want to kill time as you're waiting for your train or something, you might not need a dedicated, big game experience. But if you like games, if you really love games, you would want to play the kind of games you like, even on the portable.

Damn fucking right.
3072  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade on: August 24, 2011, 02:57:02 PM
Certainly if it is announced for the US the first people to know will be your local Gamestop employees.
3073  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: How honest do you think mainstream game critics are? on: August 24, 2011, 01:17:04 PM
For example, it's generally accepted that a racing game or an FPS will have multiplayer, so if your racing game or FPS doesn't depend on some gimmick that would break multiplayer, I think a reviewer is OK to dock the score for that lack.

Not all FPSs are the same.  I can see where you're coming from for a COD-like game, but if somebody docks a game like Bioshock for not having multiplayer then I will smack them.
3074  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Thread (merged) on: August 24, 2011, 12:21:45 PM
Now I'm suffering from lack of sleep since I was up way too late last night playing this.  I don't regret it, though...

This game is great.  It's gorgeous, too.  Sure it's no technical powerhouse, but I love the art design and overall aesthetic.  The atmosphere is great.  The music is great.  I'm going to friggin enjoy this one.
3075  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade on: August 23, 2011, 02:51:40 AM
Is it possible NoA is just waiting for an HD port on the Wii U?


Seriously, though, you aren't the first person to suggest this but I can't see where this idea is even coming from other than pure wishful thinking.  While Xenoblade seems to be doing OK it's still hardly one of Nintendo's triple-A franchises that they would bother to remake for this sort of thing.  Especially so soon after the original came out.  What makes you think that such a project even exists?
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