As you might have guessed from the title above, (or if you’ve been listening to the Podcast), I’ve recently invited the 360 exclusive and all around “shit-yeah”-a-thon that is Gears of War into my tray. After letting Megaman ZX Advent rock(man) my world, I was in the mood for something rich in gratification with a dash of co-op, and none of the frustration-aftertaste that is instant death. (Thank you Capcom and your incessant obsession with spike-pits.) Looks like I got just what I wanted.
Besides the stellar graphics and obscenely violent gameplay that Gears fans around the world have been raving about, to me, the most impressive feature the game has to offer is the refreshingly coherent co-op mode. Although I tend to play a large amount of predominantly single-player titles, I hail from the school of gaming that teaches that any experience that can be shared with a friend, always should be. (Which explains why, back in the day, the Capcom “vs.” series, like X-men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom, were some of my favorites. I’d pick a character, a friend would pick the second one, and we’d literally tag-team our way to victory, hopping back and forth from the controls at the arcade machine as we “tagged” each other’s characters in-game.)
And maaaan, the co-op here is great. Although I haven’t finished the game yet, the portion in the “dark” town, where one player must operate a spot-light and navigate his friend down a dark street from atop a near-by building (stepping into the darkness equates to a gruesome death) was probably one of the most creative cooperative experiences I’ve had in months. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited to finish the game and you can look for a review in the upcoming weeks. I need to beat this before the second one comes out, after all. Oh, and a big thanks to everyone that helped me pick what game I’d be playing, as per my last post.
They’re brothers…they’re happy and they’re singing and they’re colored….da-da-da-da…
On a more somber note, I wanted to take a second and express my disappointment with ZiffDavis media and their decision to cease print publication of Games for Windows Magazine, formerly Computer Gaming World, and sister publication to my favorite game magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM). I mentioned a few journal entries back that GFW Radio, the
podcast that accompanied the print publication, was and still is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to because of the extremely talented team of editors that make up the core writing staff, namely Jeff Green, Shawn Elliot, Sean Malloy and Ryan Scott. They’re always quick to point out interesting developments in the PC world of gaming, and are just extremely intelligent ambassadors into the behind-the-scenes world of print magazine production. And although the publication is not completely dead (they’ll be switching to a purely online existence as part of 1up.com), it is very disheartening to have another casualty in the flawed, yet ever-growing opinion that the print-medium is dying.
Although it’s valid to argue that print publications are no longer able to hold out on “true” exclusives due to the constantly updated nature of the internet, there are still several advantages that magazines hold over internet articles, namely in terms of presentation and portability. Oftentimes it’s much easier to craft a wide, two-page spread in a magazine than it is for a webpage, and let’s just say there’s a reason I keep a stack of magazines in my bathroom and not a laptop docking station. Although I wasn’t personally a subscriber, it’s an understatement to say that GFW Magazine will be missed, and sad news for someone that’s looking to one day see his name in a print medium (me).