11 Settings That Are MMO-Worthy

There’s been an insane bandwagoning of franchises making the jump to the MMO genre as of late. I suppose many developers simply want a piece of WoW’s pie, but with so many MMOs competing with each other (rather than challenging WoW), it seems unlikely that any of them will get that pie. Still, you can’t blame them for trying, and a lot of developers do seem eager to get into the MMO genre. The list of franchises and series that have transitioned to the MMO world has grown quite long over the past few years, but there’s certainly room for many more. Here are several well known settings that I feel would make fantastic transitions to the land of MMOs. Note that they are not in any particular order.

Avatar’s Moon of Pandora

Pandora had it all. The moon of Pandora is home to the Na’vi, a spiritual race of wildlings that seem to be in tune with all aspects of nature. Unfortunately the technologically advanced Humans ruthlessly expanded their operations across the world and caused several major conflicts. This would be an amazing setting for an MMO, with players being able to choose between the Human or Na’vi factions. I have no idea how avatars could fit into everything, but I suppose that a creative developer could think of a great way to incorporate them. Aside from the conflict between the Humans and the Na’vi, Pandora itself suits the MMORPG genre simply because it has everything you can think of. Heck, it even has flying mountains!

Diablo’s World of Sanctuary

Despite the fact that Blizzard is working on their next MMO and it isn’t related to Diablo, I don’t think that rules out the possibility of a Diablo Online in the distant future. Imagine being able to pick from several classes spanning all three Diablo games. Angels, Demons, and Humans could be the three factions. The most appealing part, however, is the idea that we’d be able to travel to any location we’ve ever heard of in Diablo lore. Imagine Caldeum, Kingsport, Kurast, Lut Gholein, Tristram, and Westmarch all being visitable. We could even explore the Dreadlands (former homeland of the barbarians), the insanely expansive Dry Steppes which is north of Caldeum, along with the mysterious Skovos Isles which rests in the sea south of Kingsport. There’s a lot of potential here, and it’s frustrating that Blizzard still hasn’t allowed us to explore more of this huge world.

Zelda’s Land of Hyrule

If Nintendo ever decides to make an MMO, they’ll most certainly go with Zelda. Hyrule has quite a developed backstory behind it now and it has become one of the video game industry’s most celebrated and widely recognized worlds. Imagine a fully 3D Hyrule with several players grouped together and exploring mountains with hookshots, solving dungeon puzzles together, and working with each other to defeat a fearsome dodongo. There would be so much to see, so much to do! Another thing that would work in favour of a Zelda MMO is the fact that the series has Link, a completely silent protagonist. MMO characters are also completely silent (unless you’re playing The Old Republic) so it would help keep the Zelda atmosphere intact while establishing a firm sense of being in an MMO world. Whether or not Nintendo ever makes an MMO is a different question though, so this one doesn’t look terribly likely at the moment.

Mortal Kombat’s Elder God Realms

NetherRealm Studios is pretty much the last development team I’ll ever expect to make an MMO, but never say never. Mortal Kombat may be a fighting game, but it still has a vast and thorough lore behind it. Earthrealm, Edenia, Outworld, and a slew of other realms make up the several lands created by Raiden and his fellow Elder Gods. After playing Mortal Kombat Deception (I know, I know…) and experiencing a pretty limited and poor representation fo the several realms, I can only imagine how much better NetherRealm could make the realms look and feel now that they are no longer shackled down by Midway. Each realm is so distinctly different. They’d be a joy to explore in a proper MMO title. If there’s a good fighting engine in the game as well, then even better.

A Song of Ice & Fire’s Westeros

HBO’s Game of Thrones has skyrocketed the popularity of George R. R. Martin’s book series. A Song of Ice & Fire is traditional fantasy but, at the same time, it isn’t. There’s something distinctly different here that sets the series apart from other fantasy stories such as Lord of the Rings. Because of this, I don’t feel that A Song of Ice & Fire would work best as a regular MMORPG. Aside from the fact that it would simply crater due to being too similar to the competition, there’s just so much potential to make things very interesting. I’d love to see the setting adapted as an MMO where players have to align themselves with a major house right at the start and then work to strengthen their house and go to war. It could be very PvP oriented, and this would fit the whole war theme that the overall story encompasses.

Fallout’s Post-Apocalyptic World

I’ll point out right away that I hate Fallout an awful lot. I didn’t like the old RPG-esque games and I didn’t like the newer ones that utilize Bethesda’s engines. The games just don’t click with me, which is a shame because I like the setting. Post-apocalyptic settings are always very interesting, and I think that Fallout has a good amount of lore built up behind it that would enable it to be a pretty decent MMO, especially if they played off of the whole premise of essentially being a scavenger fighting to stay alive. I know that Bethesda canned one attempt at making a Fallout Online, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t have another go at it later on.

Resident Evil’s Raccoon City

Why not? Capcom is testing the waters with Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, a small scale co-op shooter that is set int he fallen city. In it, players assume the role of cleansers sent in by Umbrella and it is their job to clear the undead. I think that a massive MMO with a city on the scale of what you’d find in real life, complete with an endless supply of respawning zombies, would be really cool to experience. Imagine not having to bother with grinds or levels, but rather focusing solely on your own survival and nothing else. I don’t know what kind of endgame content there would be if all you’re doing is scavenging and surviving, but wouldn’t it be a blast logging in simply fighting to stay alive against an entire city that wants to eat you? Capcom could even instance the city so that there would never be too many human players running around at once. Imagine a huge city the size of, say, the entire playable area of Skyrim, and there are only about ten to fifteen human players in it who can’t even communicate unless they’re within range of each other. Wouldn’t it be an awesome feeling of relief to find each other? Come on Capcom, this just may be able to work.

Terminator’s Post-Apocalyptic World

Imagine fighting against Skynet. Seriously, just do it for a moment and then keep reading. Okay, you’ve done it? Gave you a pretty hopeless feeling inside, didn’t it? Now imagine if you really had to do that in an MMORPG. Imagine fighting against computers ON your computer. Wouldn’t that make you feel a little paranoid? I bet the game would make Skynet cheat. Ignoring the fact that you’d be using Skynet’s own technology against them, wouldn’t it be really freaking cool to play a game that would deal exclusively with taking down terminators!? Come on, you know that you’ve mentally put yourself in the shoes of John and Sarah Conner before. You’ve imagined yourself running and trying to escape from terminators. You’ve also imagined blowing them up with high powered guns and explosives too, right? A Terminator MMO would let every teenage boy of the 1990s relive their fantasies. Terminator Online would be absolutely epic.

Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City

I’ve been wishing for an online GTA game ever since I played APB a few years back. APB was all about jacking cars and gunning down enemies in the city of San Paro. It was basically a violent GTA with absolutely no story or content besides driving and shooting. If Rockstar ever works up the courage to attempt a GTA Online, I think that it could be quite interesting. I’m sure that Rockstar locked at APB carefully and know where the developers went wrong with their car jacking, gun tootin’ MMO shooter. A GTA Online would likely feature a more defined story and would, I hope, have more features than just stealing cars and shooting at people. I’d bet money on Rockstar adding a lot of other fun group activities and minigames. Heck, maybe even PvP wouldn’t be the only thing you’d be doing all the time?

L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz

Oh we’re off the see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz! While The Wizard of Oz was originally a children’s book and then adapted into a movie children, it’s impossible to ignore that there are some truly dark things going on in the world of Oz. I was never truly aware as a kid, but now that I am an adult I fully realize just how twisted of a place Oz was. It could perhaps make the MMO transition pretty well, but I’m not sure how it would be marketed. Would it be a kid friendly MMO, or would it perhaps be a little darker and grittier than the ESRB’s E rating would allow? Regardless, Oz has a lot of backstory these days and I think that a Wizard of Oz MMORPG isn’t a question of if, but rather a question of when.

Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom

Will we ever see Nintendo make an MMO? That’s a pretty good question. While Zelda’s Hyrule would probably be given the MMO treatment ahead of the Mushroom Kingdom, I doubt that anyone could possibly deny the appeal behind adventuring throughout the Mushroom Kingdom with your friends. The NES loving kid inside of me would kill for a Mario MMO while the adult that I am, who still loves the NES, would probably do very horrible and rotten things if it ever meant Nintendo would develop a Mario MMO. I mean seriously! How could anyone not want this? Imagine King Boo as a raid boss. Just do it. There, now you’re as sold as I am. The concept of a Mario MMO doesn’t even need explaining, it just needs to happen!


Marvel vs Capcom 3: Jill Gameplay Video

The folks who hacked MvC3 and made an incomplete version of Jill playable apparently released a video of her in action. Remember, she is supposedly incomplete (missing various voice clips and has balancing issues), but she still looks pretty damn good.

When Capcom said that she would be the fastest character in the game, they really weren’t kidding.

Top 5 Favourite Resident Evil Enemies

Resident Evil has become quite an old series and, as such, we’ve seen some pretty cool enemies over time. Since it is October, the month of Halloween, I decided to shine a light on my top five favourite Resident Evil enemies. The list may be pretty predictable, but that alone surely says something for my choices.

It just wouldn’t be Resident Evil without the slow, shambling undead. Resident Evil 4 tried to shake things up by removing zombies, which I feel was a bit of a mistake. This very mistake would be repeated in Resident Evil 5. Fortunately there’s still a plethora of Resident Evil games that feature zombies. One on one they were not very intimidating, but in groups? Oh, you knew you’d have a good fight on your hands if there were several! Not to mention hearing the shuffling of feet or a dead groan in the first few games was always enough to freak out a few gamers.

It’s hard to attach a human name to the “thing” that William Birkin eventually becomes. There was no cooler encounter in Resident Evil 2 than the stand-offs with the mutating G-virus creator. His mutations started off threatening enough, and were very clearly intimidating looking. By the end of it all, Birkin’s final form was pretty much just a gigantic blob of mush. Looking at his mutation become something so powerful only to degenerate into such a pitiful form makes me feel a little sorry for the poor man. He served as a great antagonist though, and gave many gamers some fond memories of Resident Evil 2.

We see this guy in a few games, and he’s always pretty menacing looking! I like Mr. X because he defies the rules of what makes a Resident Evil enemy. Mr. X doesn’t moan or shuffle, nor does he have any weird pulsating body parts. With that stone cold face and gigantic frame covered by an old trench coat, Mr. X had a very original look that gave him a very clear identity in the Resident Evil series. It’s also worth mentioning that he was pretty tough to fight in a few instances! This guy could take rockets to the face and still keep moving. Considering the fact that he’s often a persistent threat, his durability makes him perhaps one of the most fearsome enemies in the entire series.

Resident Evil 2 gave us one of the most beloved enemies of the entire franchise, the licker. Skinless, giant tongues, brains exposed, huge claws… What’s not to love? The licker is just so disgustingly awesome! When they first appeared in Resident Evil 2, they were a bit of a big deal. These “things” were not the slow moving zombies that we were used to, oh no! Lickers were stealthy predators that possessed terrifying agility. Gamers who weren’t too skilled at playing Resident Evil games would find themselves dreading every single encounter with lickers. They’ve also provided us with a few scares throughout the series. Who could ever forget the licker jumping through the two way mirror in Resident Evil 2?

Pure evil in human form, figuratively speaking Wesker was Satan. His build up from suspicious ally to eventual prime antagonist of the entire Resident Evil franchise was a stellar ride, and his huge role in Resident Evil 5 was bittersweet. Wesker was truly manipulative as well as fiendishly intelligent. Many events throughout the series can be blamed exclusively on Albert. He became even more of a badass in Resident Evil 5 when he brainwashed poor Jill, and then went on to show Chris and Sheva his awesome abilities. Wesker’s fiery demise was a little saddening however, because I felt upset to see the greatest villain in the series finally perish. RIP Wesker, you made Resident Evil what it is.

Return to October 2010 Articles

15 Great Games to Play In October

October, the month of DEATH. Everything dies in October. Leaves fall to the ground as trees reveal their true gnarled forms, the night starts earlier as the sky is grey during the day more often. Barbecues and laughing children no longer fill the night air, instead being replaced by nothing other than the eerie, shrill wind.

So! Basically October is a crappy time to enjoy the outdoors, so it’s probably best to just hole yourself up indoors and play some games that fit the mood of October. I am talking about some good old fashioned spooky games!

Here is a list of games that I think are “must plays” for the month of October. This isn’t necessarily a list of games that will make you wet yourself, but more of a compilation of games that are just fun for October, and Halloween. Enjoy!

#15 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

My time with this Castlevania was short, and I did not get the opportunity to play it nearly as much as I would have liked to. I’m a big fan of the series however, so it’s impossible for me not to recommend Symphony of the Night since it is regarded by most as the best game in the series. Hunting Dracula in a sprawling platformer RPG seems like a very appropriate game for October.

#14 Penumbra

Sometimes loneliness can be your worst enemy. I found Penumbra to be one of the most unnerving games that I have ever played, simply because there is such an intense feeling of loneliness. There’s a bit of action to be had in this game, but if you want to hopelessly and utterly alone, then this is the game to play.

#13 Half-Life 2

While the overall experience of Half-Life 2 isn’t terribly creepy, there is one portion of the game that puts even most survival horror games to shame. I am speaking of Ravenholm. Zombies practically own the city of Ravenholm, and Gordon Freeman’s stay in the city, while brief, is particularly suspenseful.

#12 Prototype

You can’t go wrong with a game that is full of a quickly spreading zombie plague! Of course, the scariness is remedied by the character you play as, a genetic superman who can pretty much kill anything he wants in the blink of an eye. While the tone of the game can be eerie, the gameplay is the furthest thing from scary and is fast and action packed, as well as very bloody!

#11 Left 4 Dead 2

I’m not a Left 4 Dead player, but I’ve witnessed my fair share of it and even endured watching a friend play the original for a few hours. If frantically trying to flee from a zombie horde that drastically outnumbers your team of four is up your alley, then this is without a doubt the game for you.

#10 Clock Tower

The Clock Tower series is regarded as being fairly creepy, but there is only one that I would really care to recommend, and that is the very first on the Super Nintendo. I never would have imagined that an SNES game could be suspenseful or even mildly scary, but Clock Tower was. It was a great game, and you never knew when the killer was going to come for you. The unpredictable nature of the killer alone makes this game worth playing.

#9 Folklore

Not a frightening game at all, but the depressing and mysterious gothic-like comic book presentation is very captivating and cool. Folklore feels a lot like a Halloween-ish comic book come to life. If you have a PS3 and enjoy action RPG games, then check out Folklore!

#8 Eversion

I reviewed Eversion and gave it a bit of a lousy score, but the game has a wonderful mood for this time of the year. Eversion starts nice and happy and cute, but quickly degenerates into a dark and brooding nightmare. It’s a neat game to try once or twice, so hunt it down. It’s on Steam for a few bucks.

#7 Manhunt 2

In Manhunt 2, you play as a psychotic freak who kills people in really horrible ways. The gameplay itself is a little dark, and it’s hard not to feel a little turned off by the actions of your character. If you want to play as a dark and disturbed killer, then this is probably the game for you.

#6 Resident Evil 5

While not terribly scary, Resident Evil 5 has lots of very cool creatures and a few dungeon crawling moments. A few supernatural plot twists make this game all the more cooler. While not living up to the Resident Evil name in terms of scary gameplay, it’s still an awesome game with quite a few suspenseful moments.

#5 Alan Wake

I do not have a 360, so I’ve never tried this game. However, everybody who plays it seems to think that it’s absolutely incredible. The game sounds like it relies heavily on dark shadows and a flashlight that you carry around with you. Afraid of the dark and want a few chills? This might be the game for you.

#4 Dead Space

EA’s break into survival horror sure was a doozy. In fact, it was a doozy that made me jump. A lot. I was even apprehensive to venture down several corridors in this game. Dead Space is cool because it relies on a gimmick that carnival owners abuse, and that is cheap scares. Dead Space likes to make horribly mutated human “creatures” pop out of nowhere, or sneak up on you from behind. Definitely a good way to creep somebody out! Play Dead Space, and you may find yourself looking over your shoulder quite frequently.

#3 Resident Evil

The grandfather of survival horror still has it! Despite the laughably bad voice acting, the original Resident Evil still has a few spooky bits if you don’t know what’s coming. I recall feeling very on edge several times throughout this game. Definitely worth playing even today, at least just to say that you played the original Resident Evil.

#2 Amnesia: The Dark Descent

I’ve only played a little bit of this game so I don’t know a great deal about it beyond the fact that it has amazing atmosphere, but I’ve watched YouTube videos of it and am aware that the makers of Penumbra made it. I can definitely say that Amnesia is probably far more creepy than Penumbra could ever hope to be. The fact that a few parts of the game even gave Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation fame) a few moments of creeped out apprehension is a HUGE achievement!

#1 S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl

Not the scariest game by far, but deserves a high spot on this list. Imagine traversing the Ukrainian wilderness near Chernobyl and fighting off invisible ghouls that stalk you, zombies, and some pretty mean guys who don’t care who or what you are and only want to put a bullet through your head. S.T.A.L.K.E.R takes the players through underground sewers, irradiated fields, zombie infested swamps, and even the deserted town of Prypiat, which I have a bit of an obsession with. S.T.A.L.K.E.R will make you feel dreadfully alone, and the landscape is particularly depressing. A very fitting game to play on the eve of Halloween.

Return to October 2010 Articles

The Most Epic Video Game Ever

So while I was cleaning myself up for work this evening, an idea hit me for a game that transitions between genres. In essence, it would be a game that has no defining genre. Imagine the following being shown at a demonstration at E3, the Tokyo Game Show, or some other conference.

The demonstration opens with what seems to be a futuristic racing game. Heavily armored jet-tanks (think Wipeout on steroids) barrel through a jungle landscape dotted with high tech ruins. An NPC portrait appears on the screen as the player speeds through the jungle, informing them via radio to pick up “abandoned weapon cores” laying around the environment. By running over one, players acquire high powered laser/missle weapons that anihilate the opposition when fired. The NPC urges the player to “hurry and beat that bastard to the checkpoint, the safety of the world depends upon it! Use any necessary force!”

The player immediately realizes that the message told the player to throw attack after attack at their opponent. After taking enough damage, the bad guy’s vehicle suddenly explodes, but it turns out that he ejected from the seat at the last moment! The NPC on the radio tells the player to “get the hell outside and stop him from getting away!”

The player gets out of their vehicle and gives chase, quickly catching up on foot. The bad guy feels their presence and turns around. He then indicates that, “You just don’t give up, do it? Fine, let’s settle this now. Like men.”

The camera transitions out to view the two men from a side view perspective as two bars appear at the top of the screen. And then it happens…..

Round one. Fight!!

The game goes from combat racing game to what seems like a full fledged fighter! The two characters go at it, performing combos, linking moves to form chains, performing breakers and parries.. And so forth. After two rounds of highly stylized fighting, the player wins.

As those watching expect a “(CHARACTER NAME) WINS!” message to flash up, they instead witness something else.

Victory! Mission Complete!

An experience bar appears as a score that is calculated basd on performance in the race and then the fight are converted into experience points. The bar fills. LEVEL UP!

The screen fades to black and the player receives a save prompt. After saving, a cutscene plays with the player character entering what looks to be a military operations base. The NPC who previously spoke to the player in their racer is here, revealing himself to be “the General” and the guy who tells the player what to do. The General informs the main character that they may have taken one one of the evil corporation’s main henchmen, but there are still several out there. The General brings up a map, pointing to an area of structures and saying “this is where we are, in this base.” He tells the player that they have to push northwest to a research station that likely holds some valuable information that they can use against the evil corporation. The main character tells the General that he can count on him and leaves the room… And then the game loads into what appears to be an RTS map. The player takes control of the base, building structures and training units to destroy the evil corporation’s defenses near the research station. The main character, as a unit, must survive and be the one to capture the station.

After capturing the research station, the main character enters and finds one of the evil corporation’s henchmen inside. He is waving a disc and saying, “looking for this?” he escapes in a racer. The player hops in one as well, and a sequence similar to the jungle race plays out. After the player fires enough power-ups into the bad guy, his ship will appear to start exploding. The bad guy laughs and says that he isn’t going to give up and… ESCAPES IN A POD INTO THE SKY! The General orders the player to pursue! With the press of a button in the racer’s console, it turns into a flying vehicle and flies into the sky!

The camera angle shifts to the side as the player gains control of the vehicle in the air. Reinforcements from the evil corporation arrive in the form of enemy aircrafts. The player, flying forward the entire time, must shoot them down and salvage their weapons before they explode. After destroying several waves, the player finds the bad guy in a giant robot that he retreived from the evil corporation’s base. Resembling a ship at least a dozen times larger than the player, the bad guy’s ship is capable of firing huge volleys of deadly projectiles. After getting in enough shots, the bad guy’s ship begins exploding. The General begins to congratulate the player when the bad guy cuts them off with, “NOT SO FAST! I’M TAKING YOU WITH ME!” The bad guy fires one last shot before exploding. The shot hits the player’s ship as the begin to spiral out of control. The General urges the player to land safely, but it is impossible. After spinning well of course, the player makes a light crash in an abandoned area.

The player crawls out of their ship to survey the damage and see where they are. As they are examining the hull of their ship, there is moaning… Shuffling feet… The player turns and looks back and there it is! A zombie!!

Suddenly playing like Resident Evil 5, the player is tasked with getting the hell out of what appears to another research station where all hell broke loose. With each zombie killed, a “+1 XP” message flashes over the fallen corpse. Eventually the player gets to the end of the station. Just as they are about to leave, a huge zombie horde attacks! As all hope looks lost, suddenly two people burst in and push the zombies back. Allies from the command base! After defeating the zombies, they introduce themselves as Sergeant Brock and Captain Sharp. They agree to get the hell out of there with the player and then this message appears..


The party then leaves. Victory! Mission Complete!

An experience bar appears once more as a score that is calculated basd on performance in the race and then the fight are converted into experience points. The bar fills. LEVEL UP!

An overworld map appears. The research station they were at is greyed out. Ahead is a sparse plain. The player selects it and enters. The game shifts to a location that looks and plays like the Archylte Steppe from Final Fantasy XIII. The player’s destination is marked on their map as they must traverse through the open wilds. If they are unfortunate enough to bump into one of the local critters, a dramatic battle transition occurs. Rather than going to an RPG battle screen, the fighting system from before returns! Brock and Sharp appear as what seems to be tag-team partners (think Marvel vs Capcom). The creatures that the player is fighting? A series of wolves! While the player has three characters to alternate between, each with diverse move sets and special attacks, the opposing force is made up of approximately twenty wolves. The player characters seem able to take about ten hits from a wolf before dying (though it would be more if they gained more levels), but each wolf can only appear to take about four or five hits. After defeating all the wolves, each character is awarded experience points based upon how much they were used and how beneficial they were in determining the outcome of the battle. The player then continues, trying to avoid as many fights as possible….

And that is as far as my imagination went. So, what did we include here?
Racing? Check.
Fighting? Check.
RTS? Check.
Retro shooter? Check.
Survival horror? Check.
RPG leveling mechanics? Check.

How would something like this be defined? What genre would it fit under? I had an idea to add in a sort of Civilization or Sim City element to this game idea as well. Would that have been overkill? No, the “playable sports league minigame/diversion from the main story” probably would be, though. Or maybe functional online multiplayer?

Okay, that’s enough. I’m stopping now, I promise.

Return to August 2010 Articles

Top 5 Most Misdirected Franchises

Today I am going to look at five franchises that have made colossal mistakes in recent years and, unfortunately, have lost fans as a result. Most times developers are smart enough not to try to be too creative with their franchises, but the following five are no longer what they once were due to unusual decisions made by their developers.

Polyphony Digital is well known for making the Gran Turismo series, and the first game was a huge hit on the original Playstation. A sequel on the same console, followed by two more on the powerful Playstation 2 strengthened the reputations of both Gran Turismo and Polyphony. Why is it then that the team have decided to take so long with Gran Turismo 5? The original Gran Turismo 5 Prologue was released in 2007 which says quite a lot about the development time of this game. After Prologue was released, most thought that they would be able to play the full game in about one year’s time. Few would have thought that they would have to wait three more full years. There are still a few months to go, but Gran Turismo 5 is finally almost here. Unfortunately, a lot of fans online appear to have grown tired of waiting. Some have jumped ship to the 360 for Forza while others seem to look for greener pastures. Others just don’t seem to care at all anymore. It is one thing to delay your game for a while to perfect it, but Polyphony may have taken a little too long with GT5.

The SimCity series was always Maxis’ baby. Will Wright and his competent crew forged a masterpiece series that is beloved by many to this day. Unfortunately, after Electronic Arts bought Maxis, the quality of their games became questionable. Games such as Spore disappointed many and was not anything like what Maxis would typically put out. Fortunately for Spore, it isn’t a “true” franchise yet. SimCity is different, and after EA owned the rights to the series, they made a big mistake. Ripping the development rights away from Maxis, EA thought that it would be a good idea to let Tilted Mill develop the next game, which happened to be SimCity Societies. Upon release, Societies was ripped apart by critics and gamers alike. The demanding gameplay that had made SimCity was absent, replaced by a near sandbox experience that allowed even young children to create booming and successful cities. It was a huge blow to the SimCity series, and it has left a question mark hanging over the series. Will EA let Tilted Mill make another SimCity, or will they even go as far as to can the series?

Considering the fact that Resident Evil started in a mansion full of zombies that were literally undead, you have to wonder how and why Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy were forced to fight human villagers in European and African towns. Capcom can pull whatever they want out of the air to explain why they’ve altered their zombies so much, but the simple fact is that these are not zombies anymore. Zombies do not talk, walk normally, use weapons, or possess any kind of intelligence that indicates that they think. Zombies are corpses that shuffle around looking for some warm food to savagely tear apart. Capcom has done away with what zombies should be in favour of what they think are cool new zombies. Here’s something you should know Capcom, they’re not cool. You took the best survival horror series ever and turned it into a series of somewhat decent action games. Fighting zombies shouldn’t be classified as “action” but it now is. Congratulations on destroying the best zombie video game series ever!

Sega has made a lot of odd decisions with Sonic ever since he went 3D. There hasn’t been a Sonic game in the main series since Sonic & Knuckles that has received universal praise. The only game featuring Sonic lately that has done so happens to be a kart racer, and this may not be what Sega is trying to accomplish. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 looks to correct the errors made by Sega, but they have made so many mistakes that even this amazing looking platformer is being met with lots of criticism from the fans. I suppose it doesn’t help when you let Sonic pretend to be a knight, get it on with a human girl (this is just horribly wrong) and, worst of all in my opinion, letting him become a were-creature. Sega, are you that dumb now? Not even Nintendo is stupid enough to pull things like this with Mario. It is no wonder that few people respect new Sonic games anymore. Just look at what Sega is doing to the poor guy!

Undoubtedly the most successful RPG series of all time. Final Fantasy games have won over the hearts of many people all over the world, and we all love to think back to our fondest memories with Final Fantasy. Unfortunately, the Final Fantasy of today does not resemble the Final Fantasy of yesterday in any way, shape, or form except in name alone. The latest game, Final Fantasy XIII, has the player living on a floating metropolis-planetoid in the sky, summoning mechanical monsters that also turn into vehicles. Great, so Final Fantasy is just a Transformers spin-off now. It is completely baffling how Final Fantasy changes so much with each game now, alienating the people who enjoyed the previous games. It is hardly surprising though, considering how many of the key people who helped make Final Fantasy the unstoppable force it is today have left the Square-Enix company. Not even the founders of Final Fantasy are with the company anymore, so it makes sense that the games seem to follow a different vision now. For better or for worse, Final Fantasy is not what it used to be. Square-Enix will continue to pump out game after game in this series, but they will continue to lose their long-time fans if they continue this strange trend of making each game completely different from everything before it.

Return to June 2010 Articles