Blake Rebouche - Game Designer, Game writer

Game Writer and Designer


This is a blog reperesenting my rambling on games, art, life, and obscura. I will probably talk about food from time to time.... oh and politics. It all shows up.

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The New Prince

Posted by Blake Rebouche on September 2, 2009 at 12:53 PM Comments comments (23)

The new Prince of Persia is a love letter to the aesthetic stylings andlonely design sensibilities of Japanese Game Director Fumito Ueda, creator ofICO and Shadow of the Colossus. The temple around which the game rotatesis the temple in Shadow complete down to the altar at the front door. The storyshares the essence of Shadow's plot, featuring characters that reject theeventuality of death and do desperate things in order to save the ones theylove. The writer Andy Walsh should be commended most for his striving to matchthe narrative feeling of Ueda's work as well as the art director did.

This is not a game without flaws. Firstly, the opening is weak. Thecharacters appear weak and obnoxious at first blush. The quality of the writingand dialogue multiplies several fold over the course of the game. As you play,you will be introduced to beautiful sweeping vistas that are bursting withcolor and life, but be prepared for brief drab cinematic that almostalways take place in small brown rooms with the camera pointed toward thefloor. The most interesting character in terms of his arc is the King, and heprobably has the worst voice actor in the game.

The level design is awesome. Everything is contiguous and at several pointsmulti-layered. As you peel away the drab infection on the world, a trulybeautiful vista is slowly uncovered. Boss design, and most of the combat ingeneral, is exceedingly weak. Each Region of the game (of which there are four)has its own boss who comes out every time you come upon a "fertileground." This is exactly as predictable and repetitious is itsounds. I can level the same complaint at every Ubisoft game I have playedlately: overly repetitious. For a game who's designers were trying to apeUeda-san, Prince of Persia has extremely weak boss battles.

Meaningful choice: None, unless you count the choice of order in which totackle each section of the game. This is a real shame because there is a realopportunity at the end of the game to make a meaningful decision, but youare effectively forced into it. 

Proposed Design Changes: The boss battles need a hefty injection of variety.Take a few more pages from Ueda's book and dramatically change the scale of thebosses. Lets have a super tiny one and a super big one. Don't bring up thefinal boss. The choice of camera angle is the hardest part of the experience.Don't just have me use different combinationsof aesthetically different but mechanically identical buttoncombination combos to beat them into the dirt. Try environmental manipulation,and how about some on-the-boss platforming. Create more peril. There is no senseof drama when Elika always saves you.

Proposed Narrative Change: Have the donkey show up at the end and allow the Prince to walk away. 

In short, it is good. Worthy of a rental, but not worthy of a purchase in myopinion.  


Odd Children's Toys

Posted by Blake Rebouche on September 2, 2009 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This truly odd creation appears to be some sort of shambling crab monsterintent on consuming children. I came across it in my daily e-maildetailing deals and specials. I think some people would argue, and right so,that we have taken a lot of the danger and darkness out of childrens' lives inmodern society. Grimm's fairy tales were rife with imagery intended to scarekids straight on their stroll down the path of virtue. Heck, even Disney's workis rife with patricide and shadowy haunts from which crawl the likes of CruellaDeVille and Ursula. I am glad to see a return to form with this Tonka terror.



Testing this

Posted by Blake Rebouche on February 9, 2009 at 11:51 AM Comments comments (0)

I am