Game Informer – September 2005

September 16, 2005

I’ll be honest, Game Informer was pretty boring this month. Last month’s King Kong spread was pretty interesting, but the cover title this month is Fight Night. The PS3 title has been tainted by the prerendered stigmata that all E3 shown PS3 titles now have to deal with. I didn’t even find it interesting when I was willing to consider that the awesome graphics were actually realtime.

Resident Evil 5 gets two pages, with a return to good old flesh-eating undead on the 360 and PS3. I’m glad to see that, because I like shooting me some zombies. The fast zombies apparently up for shooting are compared to the creatures from 28 Days Later. As many zombie movies as there have been of late, the horror flick (which didn’t even actually have zombies in it) seems to have been some sort of paradigm shift in the way that flesh eaters are portrayed. Very interesting. A 360 article with information I knew more than a month ago breezes past me, reminding me again of exactly how out of date the magazine now is. Should have written about it sooner. A one-page about EA’s LOTR book rights is cheering. Some of their Rings games were very fun, and it will be interesting to see the source material re-envisioned. Rockstar, Hot Coffee article. Whatever.

Tim Schafer is the subject of a one-page interview, which talks primarily about his background, processes and views on the industry. Good stuff. I especially like his admission that Grim Fandango was the result of a comparative religions class that had a section on the Day of the Dead, and Psychonauts was drawn up from notes from a dream analysis class. Know what you write, so says the designer.

“The Modern Gamer’s Political Manifesto” is actually a fairly interesting one page editorial. Written by the editor of GamePolitics, the author comes right out and says that even though gamers tend to be apolitical the rest of the world is very much not. If the average game purchaser sits back and ignores the politics of the industry, bureaucrats, fanatics, advocates, and attorneys of all kinds will eventually put a lasting stamp on our hobby that we may not appreciate. Above and beyond the privacy and first amendment rights that have come up recently, McCauley reminds us of the storm formed by EA Widow almost a year ago. Though there hasn’t been as much about it in the press as there was back then, the rights of employees is still a major concern. Further, he raises the prospect of outsourcing, the bane of the IT field. If game development companies begin to look outside the U.S. for cheap labour, what will that mean for the quality of the games that we play? Good stuff, and a good site.

The cover article passes by in a series of screenshots that bore me to tears. Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland is their first preview, and it looks like good stuff. I’d missed that it was going to be one big skatable environment this time around. That’s going to make for some good trick pulling. SSX on tour also looks good. I’m not really much for sports games (with the obvious Burnout exception), but trick games are a fun all their own. SSX On Tour looks to have a skiing component on top of the usual snowboard entertainment. Interesting stuff. The new Super Mario Bros. title coming for the DS makes me very enthused. I have been really missing 2D action lately, and I’m a little busy to breakout an emulator. Civ IV is similarly hawt looking. I played far, far too much Civ III back in college and I have dire forethoughts about Sid’s next attempt to take over my life. Prince of Persia 3. Hells yeah. They’re getting back to the first game’s style, which I much preferred over the “hardcore” nature of the second. Here’s hoping they keep the angst to a minimum.

A “Photophile” picture from Kingdom Hearts II is enough to stop me cold. The first game was so very good, and Katie really loved playing it. I greatly anticipate being able to play through a game together with her again. The review section, finally, is standard GI faire: inflated by a point or two on most games (7.25 on Fantastic Four? Please.) GI makes me appreciate Play and EGM more than I probably already would. In fact, I think that the reason I resisted subscribing to them for so long was because of the mediocrity of GI. For the longest time I figured that was the standard in print game journalism. I’m glad I was offbase.

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