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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2007-06-15 03:28:40
These three websites are the industry heavyweights, and I use them to mine for comic strip material and to guide my rentals.
The 1Up Yours podcast is really quite good. The panel is knowledgeable and insightful, although Shane Bettenhausen is a hardcore Sony fanboy who will defend even their most insipid shortcomings. This isn't a bad thing; he's informative and his Sony bias is comedy gold. It really is a shame that Luke Smith left to work at Bungie, as he was the singularly most entertaining gamer web personality. I also dig 1Up's relaxed vibe, and emphasis on *GASP* enjoying games.
I hit up GameSpot's news section, as they present an AP type of breaking stories. These articles tend to be clearly and concisely written. Their reviews are fairly evenhanded as well.
IGN is the shiniest of the three, and generally has the most compelling features and previews in terms of presentation. And they have Jessica Chobot. Imagine it; she's a more hardcore gamer than you.
I've been on a quest to finish my backlog of Xbox 1 games, before finishing off the PS2 gems I've never tackled, but my Xbox 360 keeps distracting me. There's a general complaint about the dearth of content for the 360, but the pace is just about right for a guy like me, who has to juggle family and career. Xbox Live Arcade in particular is finally starting to deliver.
Pac-Man Championship Edition is fantastic. It's universally accessible, and is remarkably an improvement over the original classic. The game's faster than its predecessor, with no breaks in the action (the board is in constant flux). I'm seriously tempted to rate it a rank higher, but it really should have implemented online multiplayer. I would've loved to step into Inky's ghostie shoes and hunt that punk Pac-Man down.
Rank - B
Prince of Persia Classic is an even bigger whiff of nostalgia. This is an overhauled replica of the original masterpiece. As monumentally influential Prince of Persia: Sands of Time has been to the 3-D era, Prince of Persia "Classic" was at least as influential to 2-D game design. The major shortcoming to this downloadable remake is its brevity. If you're a gaming savant, it's possible to blow through the entire game in under 20 minutes. In practice, you take hours longer exploring and dying, before mastering it. What really hurts is that Ubisoft added checkpoints in the middle of every level, which results in accessibility but hurts its hardcore nature. By making it essentially half as difficult, you end up finishing it much quicker.
Nonetheless, I highly recommend Prince of Persia Classic, as they've done an excellent job of revamping its visual assets and breathing new life into a critically important cornerstone of video game history. I got chills as it stirred up decades old monochromatic memories of me cursing at my Apple IIe. Again, I strongly wish to rank it higher, but the actual game length hurts PoP Classic's overall value, even for an XBLA title.
Rank - B
Now Playing - Crackdown (360)
Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce