Blog a Day 121of365: Week’s Roundup

An earlier roundup this week as I’m off to work later on and I’ve still got an article to finish too. Eek!

First up was something that I only partially contributed to but it still counts! My Considered Gamer column was featured in an Escapist article: The Girl with a Sensitive Heart. Here’s a bit of what I said:

At times it’s obvious how we are meant to feel as we play a game. In Heavy Rain, we feel for Ethan’s plight; we’re scared and alarmed by Dead Space’s desolation, but others are much more subtle. In Call of Duty, while it’s easy to be absorbed by the violence and potentially mindless experience, I felt for the soldiers depicted in the battles. It can be an uncomfortable experience playing a game based on a real war. Practically everyone alive will have had a relative who fought in the Second World War.

Full article

There was my much delayed Final Fantasy XIII review. Quite a mammoth review for me but there was a lot to say. I’ve put in 60+ hours so I like to think I’ve put enough hours into it to judge it accordingly!

It’s tough to know where to begin with Final Fantasy XIII. I’ve been playing it avidly since the retail release last month and enjoyed the vast majority of my time with it. I’d be a fool to say it’s brilliant though. It’s not. It’s deeply flawed in places. The first few hours of the game are really not indicative of what’s to come and I can’t blame those with busy lives when they complain that it’s too slow and they haven’t got the time to devote to it. To be fair, it’s not that bad. Yes it’s all very linear for the first couple of hours, and all you’ll be doing is mostly running through a tunnel, watching some cut scenes and pressing A every now and then. But think of it as an extended tutorial.

Full review

Then there was my iPhone roundup. I had a look at a third-person shooter, a mahjong sim, a game full of glowing balls and a ‘crap’ game. Have a look at the snippet from the Caster HD review.

Caster HD feels rather ambitious for an iPhone game. It’s an “intense high speed third-person shooter with explosive effects and massive terrain deformation” game, according to the iTunes description. It’s not quite as exciting as this, admittedly, but it is quite fun.

Full article

Finally, there was my World of Warcraft: Cataclysm preview for Roll on Cataclysm launch day!

It’s a testament to Blizzard’s skills that five years on World of Warcraft is still as popular as ever, with 11 million subscribers avidly enjoying their time in Azeroth. It’s been nearly 18 months since World of Warcraft’s second expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, hit our PCs so it’s only fair that the third expansion pack, Cataclysm, should be just around the corner. Rather than sitting on their laurels smugly, it looks as if Blizzard will be building on previous successes and ensuring that Cataclysm is the best expansion pack yet.

Full preview