Monday, June 18, 2007

Quick Game Roundup

American Badass Day 2 (sequel to Day 1) is forthcoming pending a couple of edits.

In the meantime there are a couple of games I wanted to talk about real quickly. The first is one that baseball fans are probably already familiar with: MLB 07 - The Show for PS2/3. Since my next gen console of choice right now is the Wii, the old PS2 has been seeing the lion's share of the game time, especially with this game recently.

It has all the bells and whistles you'd expect out of a baseball game these days (franchise mode, season mode, etc.), but the thing that really makes this fun for me is the "Career" mode, which might as well be called "Baseball RPG". You control one player that you make up through the course of the minor leagues, potentially all the way to the Hall of Fame.

What's interesting about this mode are the unique situations you find yourself in. If the organization is deep at a position you are playing, for example, they'll throw you in a different position you might not be as good at. When you first get called up, you may find yourself on the bench with only the occasional pinch hit opportunity to prove yourself. And the manager will sometimes give you unique "goals" which give you a bonus to your development if you accomplish them ("bunt this guy over", or "drive in the run").

It's one of those things I can't believe hasn't been attempted before the MLB series. The "carrot on a stick" gameplay inherent to RPGs combined with baseball? The combination is like some less harmful variety of crack.

Second, I've been getting a lot of mileage out of a game called Peacemaker. It puts you in charge of either Palestine and Israel and tasks you with bringing peace to the region. I studied the Middle East in college and still follow the news there very closely out of habit, and this game does a great job of demonstrating how unbelievably complex the situation is without making it too intimidating to digest. I could see this game being a terrific learning tool in the classroom, and it would be a great way to introduce some of the issues in a way kids can more easily connect with.

You can download the demo for free, but the whole game is only $20 and it works on Windows or Mac. If nothing else it's worthwhile to spend money on it just to support a project like this.

Interesting note about this game: I purchased it a few months ago, and when you won the game you were awarded the Nobel Prize. However, in May the Nobel Foundation demanded that the makers of the game remove their name from the software, and it has been removed from subsequent updates. That's an extremely disappointing move by the Nobel Foundation, who probably saw "video game" and little else.

6 comments:

Jason Clark said...

The Nobel organization is just pissed because they already tried that and it didn't work.

LastBestAngryMan said...

We both know that the real "Baseball the RPG" would require groupies, greenies, HGH, testosterone injections, cream, clear, "leaded," hiring an agent, messy divorces, and bags of coke and/or flasks in your back pocket.

Where are the guys who made "Blitz the League" when you need them? Jose Canseco would sell his likeness rights for something like that faster than Mickey Mantle hopping on a groupie.

Andrew said...

Don't forget extra points for "mulletude" as per the 1990's Phillies... Any baseball rpg should be made an MMO to allow for the collection epix l00t...

Like this...

http://wow.blupp.net/item.php?id=432275

DM Osbon said...

Funny but my PS2 is getting more use of late & I picked up a copy of God of War II. Never played God of War but on the experience so far will be looking out for a copy.

Did you ever try it?

john said...

What?? No love for Championship Manager?? Notts County???

robustyoungsoul said...

@osbon - God of War I and II are both great games. Highly recommended.