It was written in AS3. Particles were done using Flint Particle System by Richard Lord. For anybody who's never heard of it, I'd suggest you check it out- it's one of the most advanced particle system libraries out there, and it's free. Literally anything you'd ever want to do with particles is possible with Flint and Richard is always lurking around the forums willing to solve problems. The ingame explosions on bullet impact are Flint particle Blasts that are given an initial velocity by the bullet. Henceforth when you destory a ship the explosion is affected by the speed and trajectory of the bullet. Works nicely- wouldn't you agree?
I haven't worked through exactly how to formulate the game from here- whether it will grow to fully-fledged objective based game or else a short+simple melee space battle where you have two defeat a rival clan+boss and you can 'capture' better equiped NPC's to build your teams for later stages. We'll see.
Concerning other matters, recently I've been playing the PS3 non-stop. Seems like I can't get off the bastard what with all the multiplayer games. So addictive these days. I thought I'd review a couple of new ones I bought.
Ryu Ga Gotoku:Kenzan
Ryu Ga Gotoku/Yakuza, Shenmue- the comparisons are unavoidable, but for me Yakuza has always stood in the shadows of the revered Shenmue family. Shenmue 2 is a game I would easily put into my top 10 favourite all-time- it has all the workings of genius. Evolving fighting system, absorbing character development, cinematic battles, intriguing characters. Just goddamn everything, OK? In Shenmue most of the exploration was well-rewarded. It was really exciting when you'd walk into some place to reveal a cutscene involving a character you've already met. Learned a hell of a lot of Japanese from it too "Koitsu yachimae!"-"Get that bastard!"- wow, one one of the best journey of spiritual enlightenment games ever devised.
Yakuza 3 on the other hand. Well, storyline and dialogue aside for me it's a dead duck. There's not a lot to keep you glued to this game once you've clocked it, and I think a lot of reviewers have given it an epic rank largely due to being swallowed up by the hype and grandiosity of the game.
Not enough going on in thea world to make you feel like you just want to roam around pointlessly carrying out submissions unrelated to the main storyline.
Let's talk about the battle system. It's dull.
Despite being PS3 you still have a lengthy pause before each battle, which is irritating, and the action itself is mild. Battles just aren't fun, you sometimes groan as you see an unavoidable thug running towards you down an alleyway. Sure you have special moves where you can smash people's heads into taiko drums but it's more of a chore than anything else, constantly dodging around the screen and doing the same effortless combos. The extra weapons don't add anything but a little variety in my opinion. It's just a crap fighting engine, and each fight - same as Yakuza 1- is completely unchallenging. Let's face it, if it wasn't for the rpg element the game wouldn't sell. It's hard to believe this is the same Sega that came out with Daytona USA and Shinobi back in the day.
What about the rest? OK, it's all fine having gambling joints to go to and hostess club sections to give you some extra value but all-in-all it is kind of pointless when they aren't a relative component to the game's completion. In Shenmue was necessary evil to buy better special moves, uncover information, and in some cases to progress through the game- same in Ryu Ga Gotoku but hmmm money was more fun to come by in Shenmue- you had to do odd jobs and the betting was more of a laugh.
Throwing a lot of distractions in there doesn't entail that it will automatically be a classic, and it seems to me that the design team should have spent more time on the fundamentals of the fight engine than overkill the game with a lot of gratuitous stuff that isn't fun to do. Simply never quite scratches the surface of the magic of Shenmue but hey it's still a lot better than many games available on the market today.
Now the good stuff. The story is above average and keeps you banging on through the game to see what's going to happen next. The dialogue is also scripted well, the main character, appealing. Graphics- 9/10. Another cool point is the use of real actors voices and face models for the ingame characters. I'd welcome seeing that more in Western titles.
My verdict:It's like being told a great story that forces you to play an average game to get to the next part.
Resistance 2: Fall of Man
Me and some Aussie guy - a fellow 'gaijin' in Japan (who doesn't believe me when I tell him I code games)- spent a couple of drunken evenings whizzing through the first one on split screen and had a thoroughly enjoyable time doing so. It wasn't quite HALO but either way it had me and him convinced we'd buy the sequel when it came out, which it did last week. And what a game!
It's been said a few times in reviews already, but one takes the prize for game with the most cinematic excellence ever seen on a 3rd gen system. Makes you want to put the pad down and stare at times. Draw distance is seriously impressive, most scenes span out as far as the eye can see.
Personally I haven't seen a game achieve yet the kind of monolithic enemies that take up the entire screen as found in R2. Its an incredible testamount to the power of the PS3 that it can even handle all that. And not a slowdown of FPS in sight even with zillions of baddies onscreen.
As for the game itself, the campaign mode gets nothing but praise from me. It is kind of short but great fun throughout, being no walk in the park, you will get your ass handed to you a lot in the later stages. Best FPS I've ever played, hands down.
The multiplayer is a lot of fun too, I like playing the co-op with only 3-4 players so it's more challenging (hey EVIL_KRIS_JAPAN if anybody fancies a game).
Skirmish is also a good laugh, BUTTTT- Metal Gear 4 is still my top choice for online play (level 6 sniper now)
One thing that worth noticing I thought is that the 'Grims' in the game bear quite the passing resemblance to my character Lucifer in the 3rd level of 'The Damned'. I guess great minds think alike, or else the team behind R2 watched the same inspirational movies I did as a kid, namely anything by Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci.
It's so cool because I was thinking "Damn I've sold my PS2 how am I gonna get my Res Evil 4 fix whenever I feel like whacking that on" then !BOOM! Dead Space arrives and my days of worry long-gone.
One question, did someone from Electronic Arts break into Capcom HQ and steal Resident Evil 4's entire game files? The reason I ask is because Dead Space is downright identical to it. To say it's similar would be unjust- it's like..identical... bar a few extra features thrown in that is, mimicking Res Evil 4 right down to the perspective and the way the models are lit, the framerate, orchestral effects, weapon reloading. It's uncanny- did the Capcom staff migrate to EA or something?
Either way who gives a shit because this IS one of the best games I've ever played. Certainly the best survival horror game on the market at present, and it really sets the bar for how scary a game can get.
My only tiny little niggle is sometimes it's like your body splits apart almost too easily when killed. But there's some real gruesome death scenes that impressed the hell out of me, Isaac (the hero) doesn't like to just get ripped apart like some rag doll, he fights his arse off even when getting a leg torn off, yowch it just gets you to thinking how you'd be in the same situation.
The game is frickin' outstanding. I can't praise it enough. One of those games that is more like living through an experience rather than playing some game and it is seriously worth buying. Anyone who even remotely enjoyed Resident Evil 4 has to buy this game, because it IS Resident Evil 4.5: In Space. Slick controls, cool weapons and jaw-dropping graphics. The Zero Gravity sections are fun and well-planned. Some of the puzzles take some thinking and make for a nice challenge and the boss's (when you do encounter them) are also visually impressive and a good challenge to tackle. The final boss in particular looks superb.
For atmosphere this game gets a straight-out 10. It will scare the living shit out of you-more than any other game of this genre. I love the way that the game pushes the fear factor so much further than any Japanese game would ever dare to go. The way it explores psychological horror also works tremendously well, it's not just what comes out of the shadows that is scary, the story is also very dark and the characters, suspicious. The emptiness of space, being all alone out there with limited ammo and screams echoing from who-knows-where, there's never a moment when you don't feel anxious and sweaty-palmed. EA should really fork out for a good director and crew and turn this game into a movie because it's would be a blockbuster.
For example I found it particularly disturbing (in a good way) when ---SPOILER--- Isaac realises his girlfriend killed herself ages ago and all the time she was around it was only in his head. Kind of predictable, yet so well done- a really sad, emphatic memorable moment. And then the final scene, fucking bravo, I jumped out of my seat. There's something really creepy about the way characters kind of talk to you from a distance through windows, I dunno why but it works, you keep expecting things to happen to them- and they do.
Though it's meaningless fun I love the way you can dismember just about any living or dead tissue, and the comedic element of picking up bodies of dead civilians with your Kinetic gun to sling at your opponents or into gravity vents which suck them into giant fans. There's some rarely-seen-before physics in Dead Space that you will enjoy partaking in. It's just crazy walking into a room and seeing a guy with his rib-cage showing headbutting the wall before dying. What's even more crazy is the way you can then satisfy your sadistic tendecies by then blowing his head off. You'd never get away with that in a Japanese game.
So yeah, the game copies a degree of everything, but it's done so well you wont give a toss.
The game blatantly borrows from just about every horror movie: Aliens, The Thing. Event Horizon- and every game:BioShock, Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Resident Evil 4 that has ever inspired the genre. You name it- but I think they may be onto something because it's fun seeing all your favourite elements squashed into one entity. And EA have done it to such a standard that you can't help but forgive. It's not going to win awards for originality and I feel sorry for them if one of those games decides to sue EA for breach of creative ownership as they'd be guilty as charged, but it's hard to criticize when you see the results.
In contrast to what some reviewers have said, the story is decent I believe- I was inclined to continue playing simply to uncover some of the mysteries of the storyline and to find out what happens to the remaining crew members and their loved ones. It has all the elements of a good novel, suspense, treachery, tragic love. So what they're on about I don't know, the story is great.
After finishing the game I was left with the same kind of chill as when I first time I saw movies like Aliens or The Descent.
This is a really exceptional game in many ways, for me it's the best horror survival game in existence at this time, any self-respecting fan of the genre should definitely check it out. They've taken everything cool that you loved from your favourite horror movies and put it into a game and whats more is that they goodamn nailed it. Same atmosphere.