Is a simple game better than a complex one? Are barebone game mechanics really the best starting point for an exciting gaming adventure? I’m not so persuaded about this: it’s true, when controls are few and the gameplay is prompt you can enter the game’s world with ease, but while browsing through the boundless oceans of retrogaming I often bump into games that are very far from the modern friendliness standards and yet as much compelling. I just hope that the rush to easiness of use won’t take away those games so difficult to master and still capable of paying back the experience with very high levels of satisfaction.
Thus, let’s talk about video games again. And above all about the fact that everybody talk about them: the industry insiders ask themselves if it’s better for a game to be long, short or simply meaningful throughout the time it takes to be completed; USA college professors introduce modern videogame classics within their courses on humanity’s fundamental questions; the media go on arguing on the stupid question if video games are art or not (hint: yes, they are). Let them freely talk and gabble about video games: who writes, at least for the time being, is busy mostly playing them
After the previous month’s feast of mainly “triple-A” games, this new round of videogaming highlights focuses for the large part on minor titles, original games and games anyway without great advertising campaigns so far. After all interactive entertainment has never been directly tied to the money spent by developers and publishers for its packaging in finished products. On the contrary: the more the gaming business becomes an “industry”, the less an eclectic and old-time player like me tends to care about just the big titles on the limelight. Big titles already receive all the attentions by everybody so it’s useless to state the obvious.
I could continue to speak ill of the never too much abused downloadable contents (DLC) and video games digital delivery with my own words, but this time I will leave to Sony management official statements the task to chill the continuous, boring, stupid and annoying hype about an exclusively downloadable gaming future and other crap of this kind: 1) “I want it on the disc, that way when they buy it, they get it” - Rob Dyer, SCEA vice-president while commenting on the state of the DLC market; 2) The gloomy and failing UMD-free PSPGo “was introduced in a mature lifecycle to learn more about what the consumer wanted and we’ve definitely learnt a lot. Is that measured by success in sales? I don’t think it is” - words of Andrew House, SCEE president.
Ron Gilbert’s DeathSpank was already discussed in a previous post, but considering the personality (figurative) weight I think it’s adequate to complete the discussion by embedding the keynote’s videos (even if they aren’t so pretty to see) with which the legendary designer opened this year Penny Arcade Expo. Ron Gilbert is one of the noble fathers of modern games, so listening to what he says is simply an obligation for who would like to call himself a “videogamer”.
A year after the official presentation during Penny Arcade Expo, Canadian developer Hothead Games and Monkey Island designer Ron Gilbert have took the occasion of the new PAX edition to show the work done on their new title: DeathSpank, the legitimate but grumpy child of adventure and action RPG genres, leaves behind the mere shadows of the first trailers to put his face and his deeds in front of gamers.
In an industry inclined to release an even excessive amount of contents on the upcoming videogames, the next, awaited creation of mythological game designer Ron Gilbert continues to be a mystery as for gameplay, visual style, interface and everything. Despite this chronic lack of material to admire (or to criticize to death), the information currently available on DeathSpank are at least more than those followed to the official game presentation during 2008 edition of Penny Arcade Expo.
Waiting for the Architect of adventure games Ron Gilbert to unveil the (certainly) moronic face of the DeathSpank hero to the world, if one was in withdrawal from “point & click” games he could always practice with ScummVM, the virtual machine designed for the preservation of the good old adventures from Lucasfilm/Lucasarts (and much more) released in these days in its new, sparkling version 0.12.0.
Only a few months left, and the offspring of the return of Ron Gilbert on the videogaming stage that matters should make its appearance on the Internet. No absurd puzzles flavoured by wannabe pirates and three-headed monkeys this time, but a new formula that would like to merge the opposed gameplay of the adventures and the wilder hack and slash videogames.