August 14, 2007

Bioshock in a Word: Awesome

Yeah, so this isn't a strictly game design related post, well maybe it is. I guess since I've started here I look at games a little more critically than I used to. Instead of just seeing a game as good or bad, I tend to break it down to what is it about that game that makes it that way and how can it be improved in either case. That being said, I had the good fortune to try the Bioshock demo on XBL last night and I was just stunned.

Anyone who reads the Den or talks to me about games can tell you that I have been pulling for Bioshock for quite a while now. A spiritual successor to System Shock 2 made by many of that games original developers? Count me in. The demo even surpassed my expectations. Everything I had seen up this point had been cool and showed that the gameplay was going to be interesting and offer the player a lot of interesting choices in their adventure, but the presentation had been...well, lacking. The demo completely changed my perception, the visuals were amazing, the environment was immersive, the audio was solid and genuinely creepy in places, the gameplay was fun and non-linear, at least in approach. This was definitely a game I was excited for, but it has become a game I am willing to lose sleep over in order to play (ended up staying up until about 1:00 A.M. with the demo) which is good since that is very well what I might have to do.

As for school there's a lot that I need to do between now and Thursday and I'm not entirely sure it's possible. For example, here's the rough list of tiles I came up with that I will need to create before Thursday:

  • Night Sky w/ Stars
  • Clouds
  • Moon
  • Ground
    • Top
    • Base
  • Stone
    • FG
    • MG
    • BG w/ Windows
  • Stone Stairs
  • Baptismal font
  • Candelabra
    • Top (animated)
    • Middle
    • Bottom
  • Wood
    • FG
    • MG
    • BG
  • Wood Cross-slat BG
  • Roof (FG)
  • Cross
  • Rope
    • Middle
    • Bottom
  • Ladder
    • Top
    • Middle
    • Bottom
  • Fence
    • FG
    • BG
  • Mausoleum
  • Graves
  • Dead Tree
  • Water (animated)
I started on it last night and got a couple done, but that still leaves many left to do. Anyway, I'm on my way to finish off one of the tiles before I go to write my paper about you Starcraft has changed the videogame industry, but if you haven't tried the Bioshock demo yet and you own a 360, go download it right now.


  1. Since you are doing a little video game reviewing again, I would like to make a request.

    Give me a review of Persona 3. It intrigues me enough that I am considering buying it.

    I suggest you review that game instead of making tiles or studying or document creating. I am sure you can find time to fit it in your schedule : )

    Side note: How many of my comments make it through your comment moderation process?

  2. All those that can't potentially offend or upset people reading that may in fact read this site, ;).

  3. As for Persona 3, I'll probably pick it up tomorrow and drop a preorder on Bioshock. It looks cool, it's getting great reviews, and like all Atlus games it will be pretty much impossible to find after a few months.

  4. I already buckled and bought it.

    Played it for a like an hour last night. During that entire time I never got to actual combat. And yet I still really like it. My desire to know what is going on is just too strong.

    I just had all my plans canceled tonight, so I may just end up playing it until my eyes bleed.

  5. I also purchase it, and more surprisingly got a chance to play it! I must say I am quite enjoying it (about 3 hours in). The combat-less tutorial section lasted a bit long for my taste, but the strange mesh of dungeon crawling and high school simulation is oddly captivating. There's enough going on that it gets that addictive "just one more day" feeling.

  6. I know exactly what you mean...

    I don't understand why I am so excited about choosing between karaoke or the swim team or student council or hanging out with friends, but it engages me.

    I already want to replay it and see what happened if I made different choices!!!

    It sounds so lame, but the stupid day to day stuff keeps me playing.

    And the dungeon stuff is actually quite difficult. I have no idea how far I should have progressed, but I get the feeling I am behind.

    And don't try to study if you are tired...ARGH my biggest mistake so far.

    And dare I say it, but I am almost enjoying it as much as my beloved shadow heart's.

  7. Heh, yep the dichotomy between the day to day stuff and the dungeon crawling stuff is actually a brilliant piece of design. The high school stuff manages to make you want to play one more day so you can see what other crazy stuff comes up or how your decision affect things. Currently I'm trying to get with the Student Council treasurer, we'll see how that goes... (now, THAT sounds lame!)

    Oh, and as for the difficulty of the dungeons, I should tell you the Shin Megami Tensei games are well known for their difficulty. Particularly, if the main character's health ever falls to 0 you lose immediately. Combine that with death spells that hit far to often, and well, you get the idea...

  8. Finally made it to the first full moon. 10 and a half hours in right now.

    Starting to figure out what I am suppose to do in the dungeons... now able to clear 5 or 6 floors in a night if I have to. The accepting requests has really started to show me how far I should be so now it is obvious if I am on track or not.

    Not doing much with the student council and I am ignoring the swim team I joined. I am trying to help that one kid date his teacher and I am hanging out with the old couple at the bookstore.

    The urge for replay once I finish will be very, very high. I almost have to go buy a guide book after I beat it the first time.

    And yes I will be commenting on his post for at least the next month while I finish this game...

  9. I bet you thought I forgot about persona 3, but oh no. I am sure you quit it long ago.

    I only play it on the weekends so I haven't advanced that far, but I still love it.

    I die at least once every time I play. It really makes decisions on if you should leave the dungeon early or not. Which is a good thing.

    I got a little behind last full moon because I thought I only had to get to a certain point, but when I beat that guardian and realized it wasn't the end of the level I found out I only had 1 day left to clear 14 floors and a guardian. It was brutal.

    As for the student council treasurer you mentioned... I also feel a strong urge to make my character date her. Her social link class sucks, but yet I still make him hang out with her all the time. Both of my highest social links are almost completely worthless to me.

  10. No I haven't forgotten about it, I actually really want to play more of it, I just got sidetracked by a little game called Bioshock, which I just got the chance to finish over this holiday weekend.

    I am amused by the fact that you die almost every play session and that both of your favorite social links are basically worthless to you. I am hoping to play a lot more Persona 3 and Metroid Prime 3 over our semester break which comes up in a few weeks (though it's only a week).

    Anyway, while I am enjoying this little exchange, do you think you could start commenting on other posts? It took me like 5 min. to find where you comment went :).

  11. This is the post I comment on. I refuse to change that :)

    I rocked persona 3 today. No deaths and cleared the level 17 days before the full moon. Now I just level my characters and personas up as I wait for the time to pass.

    One warning if you are starting to play again: That treasurer girl becomes angry if you start trying to date someone else once she has declared her intentions towards you... the game will warn you about it, but you probably won't care ;)