You are not signed into a user account. Please return to this page once you are signed into your free account for additional options.
Title: One A Day
Posted: January 05, 2010 (07:30 AM)
Those who follow me on Twitter may have seen that I, along with several other games journalists and a few people who don't even do anything to do with games at all, am embarking on a year-long writing project. That is, to write one thing a day that isn't an actual commission or assignment.
Others taking part include Playstation Mag's Andy Kelly, who masterminded the whole thing, PC Gamer UK's Jaz McDougall and Rich McCormick, Reso's own Dan Lipscombe and Jen Allen, BritishGaming's Mark Brown and a whole heap more.
My stuff's all happening over at www.lewisdenby.com. Have a read, if you want. And go to Andy's blog for a full list of participants.
Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by Lewis. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!
Game: Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PlayStation 3)
Posted: March 23, 2012 (03:58 AM)
A dismally unimaginative co-op shooter, coupled with a half-finished idea for an intriguing competitive component. Play it in either mode and youíll be bored or irritated within minutes.
Its retro graphics look beautiful. The original soundtrack is utterly stunning. Its story is one of the most confident and grown-up that our medium has ever seen. Donít approach To the Moon expecting taxing puzzles or combat or stats, because that isnít what itís about. It is its own thing: an indie adventure about going to the moon, but with its sights set far beyond it.
As a first-person shooter, itís incredibly competent. Quake 2 might have had the tempo, and Half-Life the suspenseful pacing, but Unreal had the variety and the challenge. Its weapons drew criticism for feeling weak and weedy against the Skaarj oppressors, and itís a fair comment. They often do. But Iím sure thatís partly because the buggers are so tough, right from the start.
Quake still absolutely stands up today. Its visuals might be pixellated, the environments often rather monochrome, as became the running gag. Yet the design of the world is tremendous, the levels balanced, structured and elegantly paced. The variety on display, despite the vast swathes of brown, dwarfs that of most modern games as well.
Enemies dart and dodge, firing sprays of bullets in the final seconds of their lives, trying everything they can to bring you down, even if it means losing their own lives in the process. The range of enemies on display is perhaps the only area in which Quake II rivals the variety of its predecessor, too.
Planescapeís fiction is perfect: it takes two intrinsic human fears, turns one on its head, and allows the other so much room to breathe. In Planescape, you play as a man who has already lost his entire memory, including that of his own identity, yet he can never escape this dreadful state.
In The Nomad Soul, you donít play as any of the main characters. Instead, you play as all of them. Sort of. In fact, you play as a person playing a computer game, in which the player plays as a soul who can transfer between different bodies. Yes. And itís all absolutely merrily acknowledged by the game. None of this is real, it tells you. Itís just a game.
Iíve found Fallout to be enormously irritating. Itís a grotesquely unfriendly game. Its interface is convoluted and confusing. Wandering through the desert early on will almost certainly get you killed by foes youíre totally unequipped to defeat... yet wandering through the desert is the only way to progress. You can complete some fairly menial tasks in order to become strong enough to tackle them, but - well - theyíre fairly menial.
Game: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (Miscellaneous)
Posted: November 14, 2011 (03:30 PM)
The central narrative arc is beautiful: this is a game which expands on its predecessorís coming of age story, and presents something altogether more grown-up. If The Longest Journey demonstrated the progression from the naivety of youth to the responsibility of adulthood, Dreamfall is a game about taking that newfound maturity and giving it back to those in need.
There have been complaints, and will be many more, that Dragon Age II is appealing for a more mainstream audience by removing all the fiddling of its predecessor, but I donít think this is a fair accusation. There is very little that you could do before which is no longer possible. The difference is that the extraneous elements have been stripped away, giving the action space to breathe.
Itís a game in which you want nothing more than to see whatís thrown at you next, just so you can eagerly ramble about the amazing things that have just happened, and share theories with friends who are also playing. Itís so effective in stirring discussion, in fact, that it took me a while to realise I was enjoying talking about the game a great deal more than I was playing it.
And hereís a major place in which Civilization V seems to fall down. Maybe itís just too long since I last tackled a Civ game, and Iíve simply lost my ability to play make believe within its boundaries. More likely, thereís a problem. Because for the life of me, I just could not even fool myself into being convinced by the diplomacy system.
The latest lovely hidden object/adventure hybrid is The Tiny Bang Story - and, frustratingly, it gets the mix half-right. Itís evocative, painting a world that seems to spring more and more to life the further you progress into the game. But it falls into some of the classic traps that both adventures and hidden object games have succumbed to over the years, and the result is a game I wish I could recommend more than Iím about to.
This means combat becomes an often entertaining game of cat-and-mouse. Itís bad news if you stay behind the same piece of cover for too long, as FEAR 3ís goons are more intelligent than that. Theyíll lob in a grenade, or send someone to draw you out from behind. All the while, their defensive strategy is much the same as your own: hide, shoot, move, repeat. When youíre down to the last couple of enemies in a larger area, gunfights can end up drawn out for minutes, as you battle franticall...
Generally speaking, multiplayer matches consist of a few minutes of head-scratching, a bit of experimentation, a final check, a click of the ĎPrimeí button, and an edge-of-seat wait for your opponent to submit his or her next turn. Itís often sensible to go and get on with something else while the time ticks away, but itís difficult to do so when youíre so invested.
Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Miscellaneous)
Posted: May 23, 2011 (01:16 PM)
If you can look past the balancing, pacing and technical issues, there is an extremely solid RPG here - nothing especially innovative, but definitely a game that sets out to be the most absorbing, rich and spectacular experience it possibly can be. Itís a disappointment because it largely succeeds in that goal while fluffing the basics. The best RPG of the current generation? With a bit more care, it could have been.
If you bought a computer between about 1993 and 1996, you'll have got a free computer game with it. Perhaps your mum will have played it, sitting in front of the PC for hours on end, trying to figure out solutions to the game's many puzzles as she wandered around the pretty environments. Myst quickly became one of the most popular games in the world, mainly because you couldn't bloody avoid the thing.
The Longest Journey isn't perfect, but in that imperfection lies something hugely special: something so magical, and so human. It isn't the best adventure game I've ever played, but it is the one I adore the most.
Gratuitious Space Battles is a sort of turn-based strategy game, except itís not really turn-based as such. As in, thereís only one turn per game. On the surface, you arrange your fleet of spaceships then send them into battle against an enemy fleet. In single-player this means battling through a plotless series of individual skirmishes. Online it means downloading challenges other players have set up, and trying to defeat their submitted fleet. There's no direct contact with your ...
Game: Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (Miscellaneous)
Posted: July 24, 2010 (08:16 AM)
Recently, a Directorís Cut of the first game has been released on both the iPhone and the Wii. Both versions prove what a remarkable title that still is, despite feeling somewhat aged now. But for me, The Sleeping Dragon will always mark the pinnacle of the series: despite some shaky mechanics, itís the one Iíd be least willing to let slip from memory.