Sunday, May 17, 2009

Does every online shooter honestly need an experience system?

In the wake of 2005's Battlefield 2, Infinity Ward capitalized on DICE's experience system with Call of Duty 4, and to great effect. So much so that this sort of carrot-stick incentive-based system has gone rampant. Games that trailed off of Call of Duty 4's explosive success are Lost Planet 2, Gears of War 2, Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield Heroes (although it's arguable whether or not Bad Company and Heroes' inclusion of the experience system was a reaction to Call of Duty 4 or it was fully intentional from the start of development of each game), Far Cry 2, Crysis Warhead, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, and Fear 2. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by how much you might have to earn to play at a reasonable level these days, especially if you're playing multiple shooters at once? And do you imagine yourself dividing your time between shooters given the time-consuming nature of the RPG-like experience system that is seemingly duck-taped in most modern online shooters? Personally, I find the ranking systems in some games truly unecessary, but then again, I'm certainly not someone who can plow through all the ranks in a few days, which is something that may color my opinion.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Peggle for iPhone

Upon being shocked by the fact that Peggle was recently released on the App store, I was quick to download it. Initally, I expected the controls to poorly translate to the iPhone's touch interface. But to my surprise, they actually seem to flawlessly mimic the classic gameplay that became so famous on the iPod and PC. The game takes place horizontally on the iPhone's screen, and the legendary Peggle experience is intact. You use your finger to slide your aim, and there's a separate 'Fire' button to the right. Luckily, the game doesn't force you to obscure your aim by placing your finger in front of the ball launcher, but rather allows you to put your finger anywhere on the screen in order to aim. I could see hardcore fans being slightly disappointed by the fact that the 'Fire' button is so far away, relative to the previous iPod and PC versions, where the 'Fire' button was virtually next to your aiming interface. If you have never played Peggle, think of it as Pachinko with a scrolling dish along the bottom that allows skilled players to time their shots in order to get a free ball, along with various power-ups that can vary from guided shots to heaping fireballs. Once again, if you have never played Peggle, I strongly recommend purchasing this game, it's well worth the 5 or so dollars.