Sunday, August 19, 2012

Go back to your legumes

I am fascinated by the process of a game being made. The move from idea to interactive media is equal parts writing, art, programming voodoo and back office business shenanigans. The final step, in which someone (or someones) look at a game, see what has been put together and declare it finished, is the most illusive. 'There,' they say, 'this is what I want to put into a box. This is what I want to attach my company's name to.' It is a wonder that some games ever make it out of beta.

There are companies that avoid this by never actually finishing a game. Blizzard patched Diablo 2 for somewhere around ten years. Valve just doesn't release games anymore because they are never finished. In spite of the difficulty new games come out every week, green stamped by a person who almost assuredly had nothing to do with their creation, a person whose soul job it is to make sure that the red numbers turn black when the game hits shelves. Again, it is a wonder that so many game come out. There are bean counters in charge of these things. Bean counters don't play games, they count beans.

This all brings me to Blades of Time, a game that has no right to exist. Gaijin Entertainment has put out a few games in a few different genres, but the only one close to this is X-Blades. As loath as I am to use metacritic as a way to measure a game, when the aggregate review is a 50 it has to mean something. It is also a game that I started and as so terrible that I didn't finish it, and this almost never happens anymore. Nevertheless, someone with money, this time Konami, gave Gaijin Entertainment a second chance. The odds of a studio making a game that bad twice in a row are not good. They have no where to go but up, right?

52 is up, I suppose.

Gaijin Entertainment continues to exist but Bizarre Creations is gone. Radical Entertainment is gone, as are RedOctane, Luxoflux, most of Neversoft and almost all of Raven (Activision really is the new EA). I do not understand how these decisions are made.

And judging by my handy new list to the right of the games that I have played this year, Blades of Time is easily the worst of the lot. Congratulations, I suppose.

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