My gaming addiction has kept me pretty quiet lately, I apologize. I've bought three games in the past month, two of which I will write about. I picked up the running gaming joke Deadly Premonition (Xbox360), Medieval 2: Total War (PC, on Steam after watching Anti-Social Fatman's great video review), and now Red Dead Redemption (Xbox360, shortly after jumping on the hype train).
I'm going to do some writing about Deadly Premonition and Red Dead Redemption mostly. Deadly Premonition, because, oddly enough, there is actually some borderline genius game design hidden in this super low budget gem (which, of course, most gaming media misses by a mile when reviewing the thing). As much as it gets pounded for the PS2 graphics, and for the odd dialogue (by idiot reviewers who miss the joke by a clean mile), there is actually a pretty novel and decent game here. It took non-mainstream gaming humor sites like Destructoid and Something Awful to see that the game actually has some serious merits, which says a lot about how crappy mainstream game reviewing has become.
The other writable game, Red Dead Redemption, I feel I have to write about because it is from Rockstar, a developer that I love to hate. Once again they have shipped a game to glowing reviews, and while I can't say that I'm not having any fun, the fact remains that there are some GLARING game design flaws in this thing. Want a taste? Try lock on auto aim in the MULTIPLAYER! Now, I know why they did this, it isn't just pure madness. That said, once in practice it ruined GTA4 multiplayer and here it is again ruining Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer in an even worse fashion. And no, I'm not talking in hyperbole here. It is tremendously bad game design, and I will explain why in the post (Hint: It has to do with open world PVP, a level progression system that awards high level people with infinitely better equipment (and thus a huge advantage in battle, especially against newbies equipped with pea-shooters), and an auto aim that snaps to targets and follows them around the screen without any user input - I know, face palmingly bad game design).
Stay tuned, tune stayers.