Saturday, August 16, 2008

Writing Updates and 360 Downloads  

Writing: A while ago, I posted a micro-story called In The Trees on this blog.

(You can use the search function at the top to go back and find it, in case you missed it the first time.)

I originally wrote it for a short-short story contest that was canceled for reasons unknown before I got a chance to enter, and never really did anything with it. However, a few days ago I saw mention of Pseudopod on Michelle Lee’s blog, and submitted it to them as a possible piece to be produced as Flash Fiction. I'm not sure that it's a perfect fit for what they're looking for, but you never know.

In other writing news, I've pretty much finished running my short Love Means Leaving Together past my various feedback folks and I've tweaked it about as much as I think I'm going to. Thanks to everybody who shared their opinions with me.

Now that this part of the process is basically done, I'm going to ramp up efforts and start shopping it around to see if I can make a sale… keep your fingers crossed, and you'll hear it here first when it's ready for publication.

Games: The wife and I spent the morning going through some of the stuff I recently downloaded from the 360 Marketplace after getting a functioning console back in the house. Here are some brief thoughts:

Bionic Commando: Rearmed - I'm already completely in love with this remake, but I'm quite glad to say that that the co-op in story mode is just as fun as the singleplayer. if you haven't already downladed it, what are you waiting for?!?

Legendary trailer: I've been watching this game for a while and although the word-of-mouth is that the game hasn't really come together, the latest trailer looks like pretty great stuff.

Some of the developers appear on-screen via some unintentionally humorous special effects and talk about the AI of the enemies and certain aspects of their design. I've got to say, if what the developers claim is true about monsters modifying their behavior to take advantage of the environment and changing their tactics on-the-fly the way it seems to work in the video shown, I'm down with that.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 trailer: I was a big fan of the first game, so I was already planning on picking up this sequel. Although it was nothing earth-shattering, the enhanced emphasis on team attacks shown was interesting. As long as they don't change things up too much, I'm sure I'll come away happy… these sorts of top-down dungeon-crawlers are like the videogame equivalent of comfort food.

Saints Row 2, the Ultor trailer: Straight up, the first Saints Row was great stuff. More GTA than GTA 4 if you ask me, Volition definitely understands what makes open-world games fun, and SR2 looks like it's on-track to deliver bigger, better, faster, more.

This trailer in particular was enjoyable because it's positioned as a faux training video for the Ultor security forces who will presumably be the player’s opposition. Complete with cheesy voice overs, the clip demonstrates things to be aware of when patrolling Stilwater, such as gang members on chainsaw rampages and unsavory characters assaulting passersby with electrified defibrillator paddles.

I laughed out loud.

Saints Row 2 doesn't look like it's going to revolutionize the industry, but then again, it doesn't have to… nailing every element in a sandbox game is something that very few titles have come close to, and SR2 in its current form looks like it has a better-than-average shot.

What next?

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2 comments: to “ Writing Updates and 360 Downloads


    Bionic Commando rocks. I especially like the new difficulty curve. It's hard, but you only die because you got too greedy and failed to think strategically. The new weapons balancing is excellent. The challenge rooms are the exception: they are brutally, sadistically hard. But at least they are optional (unlike any of the rage-inducing levels in Braid.)

    Most of all I think Bionic Commando Rearmed is great evidence for a more diverse color pallet in action games. It is gorgeous and memorable in ways I doubt the ultra-typical "brown and gray" look of the next gen Bionic Commando will even come close to.


    Amen, brother.