I think its fair to say that few years live up to the calibre of 2013. From the very beginning of the year with DMC, Dead Space, and Tomb Raider, it felt like developers had developed a mastery in both
My intentions were to stop these, but I have spent so much time writing for other sites that sometimes I just like to put them up to prove I am alive.
This should be the last you see of my articles on Shadow’s of the Damned, the game I expected to worship but that I ended up just adoring. It was a hard score to decide on for Play Devil, as their scores are weighted slightly higher than I would naturally place them and I suspect that by comparison to some other reviews on the site I should probably have gone up to 8.5, rather than the flat 8.
For me Shadows of the Damned achieved a sublime mix of creative talent. If I were to compare it to the classics I would see it as a mix of Shakespeare, Mozart and Da Vinci coming together for a production. To my Japanese centric mind, with a propensity for horror and narrative, the pool of creative talent EA pulled together was breath taking. Suda 51 brought his spin to the story, with Shinji Mikami handling game play and Akira Yamaoka on drums… I mean writing the score. Honestly there is nothing in this mix that could possibly go wrong. Right? Well in theory yes but, as I proved one time when I made ramen with a beer and cheese, sometime the whole can be far less than the sum of its parts.
Before I begin to tell you why I enjoyed Call of Juarez: The Cartel, I feel it is important to point out that it is not a great shooter. It feels unfinished, characters pop in to and out of existence constantly, it has a colour palette that makes enemies impossible to see, there are visible cracks in the environment and the whole experience is so linear that there is literally a dot that guides you (often poorly) through the game.
Last month saw the release of a number of significant titles from Japanese designers and developers, most notably Child of Eden and Shadows of the Damned. For a long time gamer like myself they represented hugely significant titles marking (in Eden) a spiritual successor to a classic (Rez), and (in Shadows) a collaboration of some of Japans greatest talents. Yet while my excitement was nearly over flowing at their release, the gaming playing community at large responded with a near inaudible, ‘meh’.
I will not make excuses, but my life has been turbulent and my attention drawn away from the site by my search for work and my writing for other sites.
Vanquish came at just the right moment to vent some very primitive emotions. And as thoughtless a game as it can be, it was just what I needed.
I had some specific requirements for my selection, a title that I couldn’t taint for myself, which I could leave and never look back at if I had to, and something I would be able just slip into the mindless repetition of. I picked Blur.