Crispy Gamer

Brian Mardiney's blog

Elemental's Patching Hell


Elemental: War of Magic was released in late August to scathing reviews. The game was, in a word, unfinished. It suffered from numerous bugs and crashes, and much of the foundational gameplay design was flawed from concept through execution. I've been hesitant to even begin formulating a proper review for the game because, quite frankly, I've gotten the sense from reading developer diaries post-release that even Stardock is not sure what the game is supposed to be about.

Preview: Haunted House


Atari has released their re-imagined Haunted House game for Steam download and on the Wii. How does this game fare? Recently, I had chance to get a quick walkthrough of the game by Lead Producer (and model for the main character) Roland Lesterlin.

First a little bit of history: The original Haunted House on the Atari 2600 was all about mood. In that game, you controlled a pair of frightened eyes, wandering around in the dark, dodge ghosts and bats, occationally finding candles to get you through the pitch-black maze.

Elemental: War of Magic - First Shot

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I load up Elemental: War of Magic not really knowing what to expect. I actually heard about the game through a friend and together we pieced through the tidbits of pre-release information, slowly growing more excited. It's been a busy month but I was finally able to sit down and starting playing this game (sorry Civ 5, I'll get back to you as soon as I can!).

Arcania: Gothic 4 - Demo Impressions

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Gothic 4 (Arcania now, I guess) has a lot to live up to. The Gothic series has been, to date, the best open world action RPG series that I've ever played. And yes, I've played them all. Gothic 1 and 2 set the bar very high for free form exploration, hard as hell combat, and "play it your way" mechanics. When you can attack anyone in the game, even allies, just because you want their 30 gold, you know you are playing a true "sandbox" game.

First Shot: Civilization V

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Civilization releases are my "Jesus is born!" days. They demarcate the end of one era and the beginning of another. Also they are much more important than Jesus Christ (You heard me, god! Bring it!). They are not merely the launch of another new game, they are an event, like the Olympics, only they matter (You heard me Baron Pierre de Coubertin! Bring it!).

Preview: Blade Kitten

Recently, I had the chance to check out Atari and Krome's new game, Blade Kitten. Based on a webcomic, you play as the pink haired, cat...person(?), Kit Ballard as she hacks and slashes her way through hordes of future-soldiers and robots. The anime style is the first thing I noticed as the colors and "cuteness" factor will smack you in the face in the first five seconds.

Mafia 2 - First Shot

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It's clear from the outset that developer 2k Czech** wanted to make this a "cinematic" game. The first 15 minutes of the game is almost entirely pre-rendered movies. They spend a great deal of time talking about your (Vito's) life as a child immigrant, your father's  alcoholism and dirty dealings, your views on the wealth disparity within the city, etc. It certainly does a good job of drawing you into the world and the characters, but there is one huge problem: This is a game, not a movie.

Mafia 2 - Demo Impressions

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Mafia 2 honestly hasn't been on my radar as of yet. I bought the original Mafia when it first came out and I couldn't make it past the first chapter. The controls were all over the place and using a gamepad didn't seem to help matters. The story also didn't grab me, but maybe I'm just not a "mob gangster" sorta fan.

First Shot: APB

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I finally sat down to take APB for a spin today. The intro video did a good job of setting up the premise of the game: rampant crime in the fictional city of San Paro has led the mayor to enact measures by which regular citizens can become "enforcers" (read: vigilantes), which in turn has led to an increase in crime, bordering on a civil war between lawmen and outlaws.

Lost in Space



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