Friday, February 20, 2009

Zuma for PS3 (PSN)

I guess I'm a little late to the party, but I'd never played Zuma (from PopCap Games) on any other system. I love it! It's one of those action puzzlers, which I'd compare to Tetris, where you have to match up pieces that are coming at you, making them disappear, before they stack up and bury you.

You see, while I spent my wasted college leisure-time playing NetHack, kids these days play games with graphics and sound. So if you're a thirty something, you'll find Zuma to be plenty of fun, just like Tetris was, and you'll play it compulsively until your eyes bleed. But the *real* treat is to kick back with a beer and watch a twenty-something play it ... they totally go matrix-mode. And it's a trip to watch them actually apply strategy rather than just shooting madly until the game ends in disaster.

Hey, spectacular cut-scenes and multi-million dollar production budgets must look really impressive when you present them to the executives, but maybe with a couple extra supporting charts and graphs (and executives with some vision) you could get the management to greenlight more of these types of games. Please?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flower for PS3 (PSN)

Wow! Flower is a very pretty game ... it's like art that you can play. You see, you're the wind, so you breeze around fields, and then flowers open as you blow past them. But it's not all visual -- there's chilled-out music playing throughout, with the opening of each flower adding a percussive note of a chime, or guitar pluck, or harp strum. Plus, the sound folks added awesome ambient sound, so there's rustling grass, rain, thunder, water swishing, a subtle but pervasive aural environment rendered in very nice stereo everywhere you wander.

Mister and Miss Achieveypants will immediately notice that nothing's keeping score, there's no timer counting down, there doesn't seem to be a high score list. You just drift around, opening flowers and enjoying the sights and sounds. At least you progress through "levels" -- that might be on a quiz at the end.

This was ten bucks well spent, especially when compared to the cost of a massage or talk therapy or a tasty Barbera. Now, can I get a screensaver this attractive, too? Please?