25 October 2008

Multi-Post I

Just a few tidbits I wanted to touch on here, a couple of issues I've wanted to mention that aren't complex enough to warrant their own post.


First of all, I've been seeing a lot of forum buzz around Fable II regarding how allegedly easy it is. This notion interested me, since I felt the same way for different reasons. The general consensus seems to be that since combat isn't "challenging", the game as a whole fails to challenge. I also find myself breezing through the game, but not for lack of trying, so to speak. One of the big selling points for Fable II (aside from the disappointing co-op) was the revolutionary control scheme. Though more of an evolution than a "revolution", the much lauded single-button combat means that combat is more skill-based. No memorizing complex combos or sifting through magic menus mid-combat here. Push the button you want for the action you want when you want it. This means that when facing the game's opponents, you can concentrate on fighting them instead of the control scheme. This doesn't mean that the enemies are any less deadly, only that your ability to beat them isn't hampered by poor design decisions. For a seasoned gamer, used to dealing with handicaps of this nature, this would make the game seem "easy", but I know several people who's experience with the game has been enhanced by these gameplay mechanics. I just wanted to dispel any perceived notion that Fable II is less than a fulfilling experience.


More and more people inside of the gaming industry have been pointing to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band as musical influences. They say that radio stations pick playlists that compare to music rhythm games in order to capitalize on their popularity. I think that select individuals among us forget there's a world outside of video games. Let me clear things up with a helpful pie chart:

Hopefully, this clears up the issue for some of you.


Lastly, I just wanted to hop on the bandwagon and point out how awesome Jonathan Coulton is. I'm pretty late to the party, I know, but anyone who knows me will tell you that it takes me a while to pick up on new things. If you don't know, Coulton is the musical mind responsible for Still Alive and Skullcrusher Mountain, familiar to anyone who enjoys Portal or Rock Band. Still Alive was great, but it took me hearing Skullcrusher Mountain as well to make me realize, "Gee, maybe I should listen to some of this guy's other work." I now count myself as a fan and I haven't looked back. The music is well constructed and the lyrics are always clever and original. If you haven't already, check out his website. And his music. I personally recommend Brand New Sucker, Chiron Beta Prime, and Sibling Rivalry.

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