Lightning was created by Motomu Toriyama, the director and scenario writer of XIII, and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, a regular character artist for the Final Fantasy series. Their idea was to create a strong female protagonist who was adept at combat and less feminine than previous Final Fantasy heroines. Aspects of her early design and personality were later altered, or transferred to other characters. After XIII, Lightning's design was revised several times to reflect her role and development in each game, particularly in Lightning Returns. Her name in Japanese, Éclair Farron (エクレール・ファロン, Ekurēru Faron), was originally a placeholder. Because of its similarity to the name of a pastry, her first name was changed to "Claire" in other countries. (Full article...)
For the next game in the Halo trilogy, O'Donnell added new themes as well as bringing back and expanding old ones, some of which had never been recorded with a full orchestra before. The score made extensive use of the piano, an instrument which O'Donnell used frequently for composition but that had not been featured in previous Halo music. In addition to scoring the game, the music was used for promotional advertisements and trailers preceding Halo 3's release. The game's score and its soundtrack were generally well received. The soundtrack reached the Billboard 200 chart, and also broke the top twenty best-selling soundtracks and independent albums listings. The score was nominated for X-Play's "Best of 2007" awards, under best original soundtrack. (Full article...)
The game takes place in the fictional kingdom of Valendia and the ruined city of Leá Monde. The story centers on Ashley Riot, an elite agent known as a Riskbreaker, who must travel to Leá Monde to investigate the link between a cult leader and a senior Valendian Parliament member, Duke Bardorba. In the prologue, Ashley is blamed for murdering the duke, and the game discloses the events that happen one week before the murder. (Full article...)
Unlike racing games that restrict the player to a race track, Midtown Madness offers an open world recreation of Chicago. This setting was said to provide "an unprecedented degree of freedom to drive around in a virtual city". Players can explore the city using one of several modes and can determine the weather and traffic conditions for each race. The game supports multiplayer races over a local area network or the Internet. The game received generally positive reviews from gaming websites. Angel Studios developed another video game featuring open-world recreations of cities, Midnight Club: Street Racing. (Full article...)
The game follows the five Simpson family members—Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie—who learn they are part of a video game and are given superpowers to resolve several situations. Eventually, they must save their 8-bit predecessors from Will Wright, and the creator of their video game character selves, Matt Groening. The Simpson family travels to four scenarios in parodies of other games to collect key cards used to infiltrate their creator's mansion and ultimately to save their predecessors from destruction to reverse their generations old ban on video games. (Full article...)
The open world setting, modelled on Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California, constituted much of the development effort. Key team members conducted field trips around Southern California to gather research and footage, and Google Maps projections of Los Angeles were used to help design the city's road networks. The proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) was overhauled to increase its draw distance rendering capabilities. For the first time in the series, players control three protagonists throughout the single-player mode. The team found the multiple protagonist design a fundamental change to the story and gameplay devices. They refined the shooting and driving mechanics and tightened the narrative's pacing and scope. (Full article...)
Psygnosis hired design studio The Designers Republic to create a simple colour scheme and design for in-game menus and race courses, to create what a Psygnosis staff member called "a believable future". The game is one of the few PlayStation titles to run in high-resolution mode, offering crisper graphics and visuals. Wipeout 3's soundtrack is composed of electronica tracks selected by DJ Sasha and features contributions by Orbital and The Chemical Brothers. The game was re-released in Europe as Wipeout 3: Special Edition in August 2000, which contained additional tracks and content. (Full article...)
Knuckles' Chaotix is a 1995 platform video game developed by Sega for the 32X. A spin-off from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, it features Knuckles the Echidna and four other characters known as the Chaotix, who must prevent Doctor Robotnik and Metal Sonic from obtaining six magic rings and conquering a mysterious island. Gameplay is similar to previous Sonic games: players complete levels while collecting rings and defeating enemies. Knuckles' Chaotix introduces a partner system whereby the player is connected to another character via a tether; the tether behaves like a rubber band and must be used to maneuver the characters.
While Sonic Team is sometimes credited with creating Knuckles' Chaotix, it was developed by another Sega team. Production began with Sonic Crackers, a 1994 prototype for the Sega Genesis which experimented with the tethering system and featured Sonic and Tails. Knuckles' Chaotix was planned as a Sonic game for the Sega Saturn, but transitioned to the 32X when it could not be completed in time. Sonic and Tails were replaced by Knuckles and a group of mostly pre-existing characters; Mighty the Armadillo first appeared in the arcade game SegaSonic the Hedgehog (1993). (Full article...)
Plants vs. Zombies is a 2009 tower defense video game developed and published by PopCap Games. First released for Windows and Mac OS X, the game has since been ported to consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. The player takes the role of a homeowner amid a zombie apocalypse. As a horde of zombies approaches along several parallel lanes, the player must defend the home by putting down plants, which fire projectiles at the zombies or otherwise detrimentally affect them. The player collects a currency called sun to buy plants. If a zombie makes it to the house on any lane, the player loses and must restart the level.
Plants vs. Zombies was designed by George Fan, who conceptualized it as a more defense-oriented sequel to his fish simulator game Insaniquarium (2001), then developed it into a tower defense game featuring plants fighting against zombies. The game took inspiration from the games Magic: The Gathering and Warcraft III; along with the movie Swiss Family Robinson. It took three and a half years to make Plants vs. Zombies. Rich Werner was the main artist, Tod Semple programmed the game, and Laura Shigihara composed the game's music. In order to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, the tutorial was designed to be simple and spread throughout Plants vs. Zombies. (Full article...)
Limbo is a puzzle-platformvideo game developed by independent studio Playdead. The game was released in July 2010 on Xbox Live Arcade, and has since been ported to several other systems, including the PlayStation 3, Linux and Microsoft Windows. Limbo is a 2Dside-scroller, incorporating a physics system that governs environmental objects and the player character. The player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments and traps as he searches for his sister. The developer built the game's puzzles expecting the player to fail before finding the correct solution. Playdead called the style of play "trial and death", and used gruesome imagery for the boy's deaths to steer the player from unworkable solutions.
The game is presented in black-and-white tones, using lighting, film grain effects and minimal ambient sounds to create an eerie atmosphere often associated with the horror genre. Journalists praised the dark presentation, describing the work as comparable to film noir and German Expressionism. Based on its aesthetics, reviewers classified Limbo as an example of video games as an art form. Limbo received critical acclaim, but its minimal story polarised critics; some critics found the open-ended work to have deeper meaning that tied well with the game's mechanics, while others believed the lack of significant plot and abrupt ending detracted from the game. A common point of criticism from reviewers was that the high cost of the game relative to its short length might deter players from purchasing the title, but some reviews proposed that Limbo had an ideal length. The game has been listed among the greatest games of all time. (Full article...)
It was developed by Nintendo EAD, led by five directors including Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi, produced by series co-creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and written by Kensuke Tanabe. Veteran Zelda series composer Koji Kondo created the musical score. The player controls Link in the fantasy land of Hyrule on a quest to stop the evil king Ganondorf, by traveling through time and navigating dungeons and an overworld. The game introduced features such as a target-lock system and context-sensitive buttons that have since become common in 3D adventure games. The player must learn to play numerous songs on an ocarina to progress. (Full article...)
Unlike the previous installments, which were set primarily in the town of Silent Hill, this game is set in the southern part of the fictional city of Ashfield, and follows Henry Townshend as he attempts to escape from his locked-down apartment. During the course of the game, Henry explores a series of supernatural worlds and finds himself in conflict with an undead serial killer named Walter Sullivan. (Full article...)
The player assumes the role of a friend of Atrus. A member of the D'ni race, Atrus can create links to other worlds called Ages by writing descriptive books. In Exile, Atrus has written an Age for the D'ni to live on while rebuilding their civilization. The book is stolen by a mysterious figure; the player pursues the thief in an attempt to reclaim Atrus' tablet. (Full article...)
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