Originally posted at GameSpot on January 4, 2008
My family and I went over to a friend’s house the other night (January 2nd), and between the good food and excellent conversation we managed to get some gaming in. Some of my thoughts on the night:
Their parents bought them (how cool is that?) Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2008 for the Wii for Christmas. Their family enjoys hunting, so the game is a natural fit. I’ve never hunted before, but I enjoy the outdoors and I can see the appeal. I played a few rounds, shot a few deer – even a big horn sheep. It was kind of fun; you definitely have to really enjoy it to get into it, but with the natural sounds and the animals bounding playfully in front of me, it was kind of relaxing in a way.
I found myself wondering if the genre could be expanded and, in my opinion, made better. What if you had actual locations you could hunt on – not just a generic representation? I mean, the game had locations such as “New Zealand Fall” or “Montana Winter,” but it’s not like they were very different from each other. When a game accurately represents a real-world location, its stock goes up in my book.
What about on-line or multi-player? Maybe this is already out there, but I would think hunting with your buddies would just seem natural in a game like this. Isn’t that part of the draw of hunting?
How about an “epic hunt?” By epic, I mean having to track an animal across mountains and continents, all kinds of weather, finally culminating in that one shot that brings down your prize and sends your war cry echoing from the mountains…I don’t know if you can actually translate that into an enjoyable experience in a game, but it sounds good in my head.
In retrospect, I’m probably thinking way too much about a hunting game, but I think there are some interesting possibilities out there.
Next game up was Need for Speed Carbon. I wasn’t that impressed, but it was alright as far as racing games go. I never got into the whole “underground” movement in the Need for Speed games; still some of the cars were pretty nice to look at. What didn’t work at all, however, was the Will remote. They had the wheel shell you could place it in to drive, but it still felt awkward. Racing with a free-floating wheel feels less like the real thing then moving the right thumb-stick.
Something else – when we tried to get chased by cops, we couldn’t find them. When we did get some to chase us, they couldn’t keep up. Weird – in previous Need for Speed games they jump down your throat!
To cap off the night, I hooked up the Xbox and we played Halo. Ah, it always brings back a lot of good memories – back when I had ample free time and could just spend hour after hour at someone’s house playing Slayer. I enjoy what I’ll call the “Halo Effect” – this is setting down to play a quick few games and all of the sudden it’s three hours later. The last time for the four of us played it was Blood Gulch all the way, but this time we had a little Derelict and Wizard action. My wife is getting better all the time…
It was a great night.
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