Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 50 Games - #10

10. Super Smash Bros. Melee
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Format: GameCube
Year: 2002

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top 50 Games - #11

11. Jet Set Radio
Developer: Smilebit
Publisher: Sega
Format: Dreamcast
Year: 2000

Friday, February 21, 2014

Top 50 Games - #12

12. Animal Crossing: Wild World
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group 2
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 2006
Format: DS

The least gamey game on this list by a long chalk.  Nintendo’s Animal Crossing doesn’t care about high scores or developing skills or solving puzzles or interactive narratives.  It cares about relaxing and having fun in a little virtual town.
   Describing AC to someone who’s never played it makes it sound terrible.  “You move into this little village, yeah?  And you get a mortgage.  And you pay the mortgage off.  Then you make your house bigger and you get another mortgage.  This goes on for a while.  When you’re not trying to pay off your mortgage, you can wander around a bit, um...talk to the other villagers.  Do a bit of fishing.  Plant a garden?  Dig up fossils.  Maybe design a dress.  Stargaze.  Just...stuff.  There’s no real goal.  No end.  Just...enjoy yourself.”
   It’s joy.  I played it at least once a day for well over a year, and still pop in occasionally.  Apparently the 3DS version, New Leaf, is the one to get, but Wild World will always be my Animal Crossing.  To switch to another version feels like betrayal, frankly.
MAGIC MOMENT: Blathers, the jolly-good-old-chap-wot-wot type owl that runs the museum.  He’s an endless bundle of delight.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top 50 Games - #13

13. Portal
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Year: 2007
Format: Xbox 360, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 50 Games - #14

14. Half-Life
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Sierra
Year: 1998
Format: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 2, Xbox

Monday, February 17, 2014

Top 50 Games - #15

No videos any more, every damn YouTube gameplay video out there has some numpty blathering over the top of it.

15. BioShock
Developer: Irrational Games (as 2K Boston)
Publisher: 2K Games
Year: 2007
Format: Xbox 360, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let it Go

Well, it may be two months too late but I've found my favourite movie sequence of 2013.  In my defence, I only saw the supplying film, Disney's Frozen, yesterday.

The sequence, as anyone who's already seen Frozen may have guessed, is the "Let it Go" musical number.  It's up on Youtube - I was going to post it here, but it really needs to be seen a) in the context of the whole film and b) on the biggest screen possible (and probably in 3D, unfortunately I could only get to a 2D screening).  It's basically a perfect storm - great song, stunning vocal performance (both technically and emotionally) from Idina Menzel, and some utterly astonishing animation.  And by astonishing animation I don't mean the ice powers (although they're great) - I mean the actions, reactions and emotions of the character Elsa.  Rarely if ever have I seen such a jawdropping example of animated acting.  The moment where she throws her crown away and lets her hair down is just incredible.

The rest of the film has a few flaws (the script feels underdeveloped in places, some of the songs are notably weaker than others) but overall it comes recommended.  Even if you just watch it for that four-minute sequence.