Gaming History 101

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Posts Tagged ‘ubisoft

GHX Ep. 23: Sick Trees

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This week we officially resurrect Gaming History X and kick it off talking about…almost nothing related to video games.  Trees is sick, Fred saw Tomb Raider, and no one drank on St. Paddy’s Day.  The conversation quickly turns to games as the two discuss “indie AAA” games, why Burnout Paradise Remastered totally holds up, the expulsion of loot crates from Battlefront II, and the abysmal game that is Haze.

Opening song includes a track used, with permission, from Ozzed.
Closing song is a sample from Shamroctoroc by Doctor Octoroc.


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Written by Fred Rojas

March 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

E3 2016: All Games Ubisoft Press Conference Impressions

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Ubisoft came out to show off their next year’s releases including Ghost Recon Wildlands, South Park: Fractured But Whole, For Honor, Watch Dogs 2, and more.  The All Games crew wraps up the announcements and compares to the other publishers of E3.


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Know This Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

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As I was looking into doing a history on this fantastic studio I came upon an excellent reference that was so good there’s no point in me doing one.  While it’s easy to rag on big media conglomerates, IGN’s Mitch Dyer did a fantastic story of the origins of Ubisoft Montreal that includes stories of Splinter Cell‘s origin, the reinvention of Prince of Persia, and the visual treat that is Far Cry.  It’s a fascinating story that documents the major franchises you can thank that studio for and a must read for gaming history buffs like ourselves.  Head on over and check out House of Dreams: The Ubisoft Montreal Story when you can.

 

Written by Fred Rojas

February 27, 2014 at 8:44 am

Podcast: Heed the Call of the Creed

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asscreed
As a change of pace, we are discussing a current generation series that is widely regarded:Assassin’s Creed. This week’s guests are Chip Cella from the B-Team and Ali from 42 Level One and the entire series thus far is covered.  Join us as we delve into the next generation of the Prince of Persia series about historical events in the ongoing battle between the Assassin Brotherhood and the Templar Knights.  All music is from the soundtracks of each numerical title.


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***Due to technical issues we had to re-record this podcast with just Fred and Chip, the original with sync issues that is longer and includes Ali can be found here.***

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

Podcast: Legends of Rayman

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This week Fred is joined by Chip Cella of the B-Team Podcast to discuss one of the few colorful platformers born completely from the 3D generation, despite the first game playing on a 2D plain.  Ubisoft’s Michel Ansel all but saved the then struggling developer/publisher and gave way to a challenging but fun series starring a character with no limbs.

Opening Song – Rayman Theme from the original Rayman on PS1

Closing Song – Madder by Groove Armada (Fred incorrectly refers to this song as Hoodlum in the show)


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Rayman 2: The Great Escape (Ubisoft)

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Four years after the release of the original Rayman and plenty of celebrated success, Ubisoft released a sequel that changed the concept of the series entirely.  Unlike the original cartoon-like platformer that was tough as nails, we were greeted with a dark, 3D rendered platformer.  While the jump to 3D was hit or miss for various gaming staples, Rayman found a welcome home with Rayman 2: Great Escape, touted by many (myself included) as one of the best 3D platformers ever developed.

If I mention a cutesy 3D platformer that stars evil robots and pirates it would be hard to tell if I was talking about a Ratchet & Clank, Rayman, or even Conker because the idea is so recycled.  While the plot may remain the same, that’s where the comparisons end.  Instead of the aggressive worlds that had one goal – to kill you – of the original, we are now given fully rendered open environments that crave exploration.  For the most part you are tasked with going from the beginning of any level to the end, but along the way you also collect the glowing lums from the original.  For the lums that are on your path and along the way this is no big deal and it will surely get you to end of the game, but if you want to unlock everything you will have to find all 1,000 lums.  That is where the game goes from a simple level-to-level game and becomes a test of platforming abilities and risky gameplay.  It felt a lot like the convention we saw in Super Mario Galaxy, where the game can literally be as hard or as easy as you like, but back in 1999 this was a new concept.  Rayman 2 is also much easier as a whole, which allows you to appreciate the game and environment instead of threatening to destroy your controller with every new turn.  It’s just a fun ride with enough levels to secure a 6-10 hour campaign.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Rayman (Ubisoft)

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Rayman wants to be a strong classic platformer, and it’s really a shame that the steep difficulty curve will turn off even the most determined of contemporary gamers, because from an aesthetic and game design perspective this game should be appreciated.  Alas Rayman has been ported to console after console and seen commercial success, but I wonder how many people have actually experienced most of what this title has to offer.

During the mid 90s there was no shortage of consoles – both the 16-bit generation and 32-bit generation were coming to be, not to mention CD consoles –  and Rayman was caught right in the thick of it.  Not only that, but thanks to Mario and Sonic, platformers were among the highest in popularity behind fighting games.  The title began life as a brainchild of Ubisoft creative director Michel Ancel (who is also responsible for cult favorite Beyond Good & Evil) and the then struggling developer/publisher bet the house on his creation and won.  Rayman started life on the Super NES as a two-player title based on various cultural fairy tales and eventually it was decided that the game would receive a cartoon makeover with better animation and subsequent move to the Playstation CD add-on for the SNES (read that story here).  When Nintendo announced the cancellation of both the Playstation and Phillips CD projects Ubisoft wanted to move to the Jaguar thanks to its specs and eventually chose the Sony Playstation as the lead console.  As you can see, the game was already bouncing from console to console.

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Written by Fred Rojas

April 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm