Archive | Design and Development Analysis RSS for this section

This King does not abdicate the Crown

Mario Kart is out for 11 days, and I have been so much fun with it. Nintendo made a great work on this Mario Kart, a perfect mix between speed, power-ups, gameplay and visuals.

fbook

This game as a lot of potential, and now that Nintendo is investing in download content I hope some flaws can be corrected:

 

– All bowser minions sometimes feel a bit redundant as well as the babies – We have confirmation that the figures will work on Mario Kart, let’s see if it’s the only option or if downloadable content will be an option too.

– I like to play with the Pro Controller, not having any data on screen like the mini-map is troublesome.

– Too easy to unlock all characters

– When you fall from the track, Lakitu saves you way too fast, doesn’t give the impression of punishment.

– Online modes are scarce

468px-Mk8characterselect

Positive:

+ Great balance between items

+ Extremely well tuned / modified retro tracks, allowing for the new gameplay below water, gliding and anti-gravity.

+ Easy to Power-Slide, for newcomers this is a great feature.

+ Large Customization options

+ Great Moto/Kart design

+ Easy to share your Gameplay

+ Camera works perfectly when, technically you are racing upside down.

Would Like:

More sprint races like Mount Wario

More Tracks

Customizable HUD

A greater variety of characters

Here’s a video of my first win online.

 

Gameplay Pitch:

I would have added some special modes to unlock features, since sliding is so important in Mario Kart games, some mini game distractions like having to try and slide the more you can to get more points and unlock features or stamps/trophies would be nice and give an overall distraction from the game. Since the tracks are quite limited this would add some variety, along with the battle mode for example.

I’d like to give a try at track creation mode in Mario Kart

Mario Kart proved, once again that remains on top of the genre, whether you want to play online, solo or with friends at home this game is extremely fun!

I gave up on this game because…

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – Crash/Glitch/Bug at Mirkwood

lord-of-the-rings-war-in-the-north

Summary: When you beat the spider and are in Mirkwood (halfway through the game), at a certain area, full of webs, there is an autosave, after this autosave you cannot get past that area of the forest, neither forward or backward, the maps do not load.

Actual Result: I was travelling through the forest, and entered a rectangular area, I kept moving forward and when I got to the end of the area, I hit “a wall”. I tried to go back because I figure I missed something but when I arrived where I came from I hit another wall, I was stuck.

43910812

Expected Result: When travelling through that area, after defeating the spider, the map should load normally and you should be able to pursue your walk/exploration in the forest to continue the adventure, or be able to go back in case you had missed some item.

Steps to Replicate: This will happen to anyone with the autosave feature, when he enters that square/rectangular area in the forest and the autosave turns on, if the map does not load, you are stuck there forever. This can be avoided if the feature is off and you can load your game from the last save point, before the rectangular area, however it is not promised that it won’t happen again, or that it will. My suggestion would be fixing it by patching the game, or at least temporarily disabling all autosave features.

Severity: This is a high-risk bug, extremely severe because the game just becomes unplayable, due to the autosave, the game is loaded in the frozen area and you just can’t get out, a whole new adventure has to be started. It’s unfair to the players who will give up on the game because they can’t bother to start all over and play half of the game all over again, this can have a huge impact, because other players will learn about this and won’t play the game out of fear of the same happening to them, this could cause massive negative impact financially.

Free Angels Fly High

The League of Angels (Web Game MMORPG).

league-of-angels

Positives:

+ Positive interaction between controls and the game, it’s easy to grasp and understand as well as customize keyboard and mouse to move, control and fight with your character.

+ Number of skills that can be added and what you choose to add to your skills adds a great amount of choice and possibilities to your strategy.

+ There is a generous map and a great amount of missions that offers players variety so that it’s never the same.

+ To those that are not used to the complexity of some MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft, the League of Angels offers a great start, it’s simple and user friendly and the introduction gets you into the action right away, it also features a good tutorial.

Negatives:

– Depending on your Internet speed, you can have a good or bad experience in the game, but even if you have a good one, expect some server failures from time to time.

– When playing and moving around the area, when there are a high amount of players around, the screen gets confusing and you don’t even see your player, on screen (visual players) should be limited.

– Even though it’s simple and offers some options regarding skills, for more experienced MMORPG players it will lack on this side.

– There aren’t many classes/types to choose from, which can be good if you are inexperienced, but experienced players will see this is as a great limitation on strategy.

161620441_1

Thoughts:

  • Entertaining introductory game for MMORPG, offering a good amount of choices and different trajectories for a webgame.
  • A good first step on MMORPG for people wanting to get into this very particular genre. After getting the hand of this game, it’s a natural leap towards World of Warcraft or Starcraft.
  • Fighting style and characters sometimes have great resemblance to League of Legends.
  • “Tree style” skills is user friendly and explains well to the player what his options are and what impact it will have on both his character and foes.

league_of_angels_boss-battle-1

Would Like:

o   The ability to choose other classes or types to have a deeper sense of strategy and wider options in combat.

o   More skills types, going along with the extension of types idea (above), more defensive and offensive skills with different side effects like paralysis, poisoning and so on.

o   (Uncertain). Haven’t been able to configure a controller with the game, have tried two of them and it didn’t work. It’s a problem if no controllers work since there are some gamers who don’t enjoy playing with keyboard and mouse.

o   Abolition of paying items, it’s debatable if it’s “unfair” or not to have someone stronger than you because he pays for it and this is just an opinion but I’m a defender of the theory that the rewards should be based on skill so either make it payable for the entire game for everyone, or free for everything.

The Dawn of Home Console – Super Mario Bros

Super_Mario_Bros_NES_cover

Super Mario Bros – NES

Gameplay Successes:

+ Running with the press of one of the buttons making the game faster and more exciting

+ Being able to kill most of the enemies with the simple press of a button (Flower Mario – fire balls) or jump makes it simple but fun.

+ 100 Coins giving a life

+ Variety of enemies, not being able to kill them in the same way, some you can kill them with a jump, others only with Fire Ball and there are others impossible to kill.

+ Swimming was a very nice feature and it was easy to pick up

+ No instructions needed, very intuitive game, one button to run another to jump.

Super-mario-bros-pictures

Negatives:

– Glitches or bugs that made the game beatable in an easier way.

– Shortcuts were too big; I believe that jumping from level 1 to 4 and from 4 to 8 ruins a bit of the experience, these should have been left out in my opinion.

– Points serve no purpose; I would implement a life system (even if there was already one with the coins or remove the points)

– The flag does not serve a purpose as well, it gives points, but since points are almost useless to, there’s no reason to fall at the top, bottom or middle of the flag

– Always the same boss, it became a bit too repetitive, it only added a bit of difficulty with spitting fire or sending hammers, but having Bowser at the end of each level seemed like “all seen before”.

– Final castles all looked alike, there could have been more modifications

Thoughts:

  • There was no real ending except a phrase of thank you at the end
  • Small rooster of enemies, there some variations of the same enemies such as goombas or koopas, but there could have been more.
  • Losing a flower by being hit by an enemy and becoming immediately small seemed a punishment too harsh.
  • Shortcuts are way too rewarding, getting to the last level by only playing 4 levels is too easy.

Would Like:

o   Double Jump feature, added in more recent games, opens up new opportunities and challenges.

o   More power-ups, would bring more options regarding enemies, there could have been enemies only defeated by a certain power up.

o   3 stages of life, Power-up – Big – Small when hit by an enemy, Mario would become tiny immediately, the middle stage seems fair.

o   More variety of enemies

o   A scoreboard for the points earned, or lives earned after X-amount of points earned.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Analysis

sly-cooper-thieves-in-time-17174-1920x1080

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3)

Positives:

+ Great control over the characters, has a great feeling of accuracy and precision.

+ Characters with different abilities, makes the player adapt quickly to new techniques and new ways to play but the controls are almost the same, making it easy to understand.

+ Tons to collect add replay value to the 100% completion fans.

+ Cross-saving is a great feature for those who’d like to continue their game on the Vita, addiction is sometimes temporary, and this gives the opportunity to players to continue their game and not shutdown the console and not playing the game again if they don’t have the time in front of the TV.

Negatives:

– Same old formula, with little innovation in the levels, it seems like everything has been done before in the series.

– No risk was taken regarding gameplay; Sly has had pretty much the same techniques for a few years now, except the suits that were a positive innovation.

– The game is quite straightforward and doesn’t offer much of a challenge, lacking charismatic bosses and hard ones too, there is no sense of punishment if you die, making the game easier.

– Hacking levels are extremely dull and unoriginal, they wanted to make it retro style or old school at some point, but they end up just being generic games, that don’t add much to the experience of the players.

2388053-sly_cooper_thieves_in_time_details_reveal_playable_ancestors_like_rioichi_cooper

 

Thoughts:

  • A fun game from a well-known series but that fails to deliver enough innovation to be memorable.
  • The gamer doesn’t quite identify with the characters, those lack a bit of deeper insight, especially Sly’s ancestors, they are a bit dull and we know almost nothing about them, just a few piece of information given with some humor but that is forgotten extremely fast
  • Just one or two techniques from Sly’s relatives that are different isn’t enough and are, sometimes, too easy to master.
  • Mechanics haven’t changed for years, the way you control Sly, jumps, or hanging from ropes, etc. has always been the same.

Would Like:

o   Risks taken with gameplay and techniques, maybe more combos for fighting, that wouldn’t make the game so repetitive.

o   Added value to Sly’s family with more unique techniques, even some hidden techniques and a deeper story to them, they forgettable characters.

o   Hacking games, if they are supposed to bring some nostalgia at some point, they should do it more carefully maybe showing some old games, or “blinking the eye” to some of the arcade classics, they are all quite easy.

o   Co-operative more, with Sly and it’s family members would be a nice addition, if both had more unique techniques, levels could be more complex.

o   More challenging puzzles, too many hints are given (an option to disable them?) and the puzzles are too straightforward.

Civilization V Tutorial Analysis

Civilization_5_directX_11-new-01

Civilization V Tutorial- PC

Gameplay Successes:

+ In-game tutorial let’s you understand what steps you should take and have a quick start in the game.

+ Helps getting started and to know what moves to do next

+ Comes in form of advice from counselors which it’s more believable instead of just pointing out what you have to do with information.

+ The tutorial isn’t rushed, when new options open, it quickly guides through it without taking too long, because players want… to play.

Negatives:

– It contains too much text; it should be more interactive instead of having to read everything.

– Clearly lacking information: It has so much text in some parts of the tutorial but then it’s clearly lacking menu exploration and explanation of options, I think a nice interactive video or “guidance” would explain the player in a easier way.

– No explanation at all about some features of the game and options available.

– Not very concise and precise, lacks some assertiveness.

Thoughts:

  • Feels as if the creators believed that everyone would already know how to play the game, explanations should always be give, or at least an option to skip tutorial for experienced Civ players, on the other hand, newcomers should have all the explanations about the features
  • This tutorial is done in a clever way, by the advisors, but the fact that you have to do, or tend to do exactly what they tell you at the beginning, it may affect your strategy in the long run
  • The tutorial is lacking in regards to the game, it’s a great, complex strategy game, and for those kind of games a more deep introduction should be given, especially for newcomers: i.e. strategy tips, military options, democratic options and so forth.
  • Some video implementation with examples could have relieved the text weight on it.

Would Like:

o   A special tutorial level at the beginning of the “adventure” to introduce newcomers, this could be skipped by more experienced players so that they don’t lose time if they don’t want to.

o   Nice vocal integration into the tutorial, and avoid those deep mythical voices. A Morgan Freeman style narration would be perfect…

o   A feature that would guide your mouse through the menus and options of the game with interactive clicks and choices.

o   A correction should be made so that you aren’t forced to take the steps that the game indicates because they can have an impact on your strategy or style of play.

Multiplayer Video Game Analysis

guardians-of-middle-earth

Guardians of Middle-Earth – MMOBA PS3

 Gameplay Successes:

+ Button set up with the wished attacks or moves, making it easy to use and a fast way to chose any move.

+ Character pacing is well balanced between the slower and faster characters, making it a strategy element, when choosing if a faster or slower character.

+ Basic classes known over the years, nothing to add here, makes it simple for MMORPG starters

+ Classic Tolkien characters, making players going to the characters they prefer and with whom they connect in the world of the Lord of the Rings

+ Use of minions to help during the game is a good feature, making the battles more intense.

Negatives:

– Server issues, sometimes it takes way too long to connect to a game, more money should be invested into having more stable servers.

– There are only two types of map with one or three paths, more maps could be added to bring a larger variety and more strategies between players and teams

– Small amount of characters in the beginning, making the game very limited in terms of choices

– Confusing set of potions to chose from, it should transformed into a simpler menu with better and more clear definitions

– Glitches and freezing times during the game, this should be patched and fixed, because it ruins the experience for the players

 

Guardians-Of-Middle-Earth-Combat-Screenshot

 

Thoughts:

  • The fact that you have to buy some characters demotivates some of the players
  • The limited settings and maps brings the experience to a repetitive stage, at some point, players believe it’s always the same
  • There should be more incentive so that players pick up other characters, we see over and over again the main characters from the story, such as Legolas, Gandalf, Aragorn and so on…
  • Enemy characters seem too unattractive to the players, it seems that hero teams are always more complete with players and don’t need CPU characters.

Would Like:

o   A mode where players could regroup and discuss live strategy or chat that is more users friendly

o   Unlocking of characters through leveling up instead of currency exchange.

o   More prizes per victory, some victories don’t give any self-accomplishment.

o   Larger customization for example accessories or clothes

A Thought a Day Keeps Insanity Away

Opinions from an observer

Gonzo for Games

Games! History, news and design...

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.