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The Game Guy
By Mark H. Walker
Thumbing through some game reviews last week… does anyone care about
replay value? Reading these reviews would lead me to believe it was a big
deal. Sure, at face value, the ability to replay a favorite title seems
like a good thing, but who does it?
My all-time favorite game is Fallout. I swore the day I completed it
that I would build a new character, follow a different path, and play again.
That was 1997; I’ve never booted the game again. I don’t think that I’m
the Lone Ranger. Thousands (yes, thousands) of video and PC games are released
each year. No one has time to play them all, or even play all the
good ones, let alone *replay* a game.
Nevertheless, goaded by reviewers who must find fault –be it any fault,
and chat board firebrands who scream (in caps) at the slightest flaw, developers
continue to sink development dollars and days into creating replayibilty.
A replayability enjoyed by very few, but development hours missed by all.
Developers and reviewers lean close... it’s quality, not quantity, that
My Kids, My Job...
Eidos Interactive has been discharged from a $5 billion lawsuit. Families
of the 13 victims of America's Columbine High School were suing Eidos in
addition to AOL Time Warner, Paramount, Sega, and Sony. The murderers,
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, owned a copy of Eidos’ Final Fantasy 7,
but Colorado’s Chief Judge ruled that because the game did not feature
gun play it did not affect the kid’s behavior.
Of course the real issue is not weather Cloud wields an Uzi or a sword,
but that neither Eidos, nor any other game company, is responsible for
raising our children. My three kids are mine, I accept responsibility for
what they watch, play, and read. If the victim’s families are looking for
someone to sue, perhaps they should look no further than Harris’s and Klebold’s
Max Payne. Okay, if you haven’t played Max Payne you should do yourself
a favor and pick up a copy. I knew, heck I think everyone at E3 knew, that
this was going to be something special. The whole “bullet time,” slo-mo
thing is cooler than an ice-soaked Corona, and I found myself seriously
caring about Mr. Payne.
I know I grew tired of hearing Remedy’s mantra, “When it’s done!” But
they have once again proved what every publisher should know. There’s only
one way to make a good game –slowly.
Desperados. Out of nowhere comes a game with as much personality as
Payne. From French developer, Spellbound, Desperados can best be described
as a cross between Commandos and a spaghetti western. Played from an isometric
view, this action adventure features six gunslinger types as they con,
shoot, trick, and sneak their way through 25 missions.
The gaming is tough, but at least there’s an in-mission save. This is
enthralling fair for fans of the American west or real-time adventure action
thingies. It doesn’t boast a high replay value, but then again it doesn’t
need to; it’s good enough the first time through.
© Mark H. Walker, LLC 2001
Mark H. Walker is a veteran interactive entertainment journalist who has written over 40 books including his recently released Video Games Almanac and The Parent’s Guide to PlayStation Games.
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