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Where you go Isometric-Strategy Games?

With a new Syndicate game on the horizon and an X-COM reboot in the pipeline you might be forgiven for thinking we'd fallen into some sort of time-warp and been whisked back to the giddy heights of the early 90's - where mobile phones are the size of a small dog, Sega and Nintendo are still a big thing and everything is ludicrously cheap! Unfortunately no, we haven't. Sorry about that. Anyway, the 90's was a thing that happened, and though there's arguably a long list of really good games from the era that never really got sequels or continued in some form rather shamefully most have been forgotten by publishers and developers and the mainstream in general - Syndicate and X-COM among them until now. The strange thing is though this attempt to breathe renewed life into old intellectual property has highlighted something about the games industry: just how much it's changed since the early 90's.

Both remakes have seen a shift from Isometric-Strategy to First-Person Shooters, a move sure to disappoint many fans of the originals but something that doesn't necessarily mean either remake will turn out bad. Still it begs the question: Why the change in the first place? And why such a huge shift in gameplay mechanic?

Still it's not all doom and gloom, the upsurge in tower defense games in recent years, aswell as a growing number of indie and smaller studio games focusing on strategy shows there is still an appetite on the part of developers for strategy - even if the big studios seem to be ignoring it. I'd probably put the shift away from Isometric-Strategy and towards FPSs for big title games as something of a product of the gaming world we live in at the minute games are always constrained by - and also designed around - the limitations and capabilities of the hardware they're on. FPSs couldn't achieve what strategy games could with the resources they had in the 90's primarily because of the limitations of the hardware of the era, and vice versa, at the minute strategy games can't achieve what FPSs can because though we have the technology to create beautifully realistic likenesses of individual people we don't yet commercially have the capability to create say an army of life-like on-screen characters that the player can interact with from on-high.

It's more than likely that in maybe 10-15 years time from now developers and gamers will have access to that sort of hardware, and perhaps in the future we'll see games evolve to such an extent that strategy games do become the leader of the pack once more. Who knows, if anybody's still making X-COM or Syndicate games by then maybe we'll have come full circle and we'll all be playing some sort of first/third-person-cross strategy game, and waging war across realistic cityscapes. One things for sure it really doesn't seem like we've seen the last of strategy games, especially given how much potential the genre has.
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About Panzadolphin56one of us since 9:54 AM on 05.06.2011

Oh hey!

I'm former male model and celebrity nutritionist Panzadolphin56. This is my blog. I write things here.

...in case the blog bit didn't give that away.

Anyway! To the left you'll find my latest blogs, and beneath this you'll find a fairly comprehensive list of most of what I've written over the years (unfortunately some stuff does eventually get bumped off the list.)

I like to write from a fairly critical standpoint about games, usually analysis or talking about issues that interest me, I also do retrospectives from time to time, talk about games I've been playing, write the funny things that come into my head, and very occasionally do some crappy art.

I hope you enjoy what you read!

I also do Lets Plays (mostly old horror games) so if that's your thing then click here:


Everyone who clicks will not win a million dollars!


A little about me:

I am mostly a story person, good mechanics are good mechanics but button pressing never does anything for me. I like Horror, I like Cyberpunk, I like Neo-Noir (especially crossed with Cyberpunk), I like good art and good writing, I like games that cut against the grain or choose to challenge social or industry norms in some way.

I don't have a single favourite game but I am a big fan of the MGS games, Snatcher, the Forbidden Siren series, Silent Hill 2, the old-school Resident Evils, Advance Wars and Power Dolls, among many, many others.


Critical Pieces:

How ugly should Horror really be?
Of Inventories and Horror Games
Crafting A Good Game of 'The Thing'
Alien(s), Creative license and Borrowed Ideas
Crossing from TV/Movie to Games
Scope and Depth in the world of gaming
Boss Battles - When do they ever make sense?
Survival Horror Essentials
Colonial Marines: Well, that kind of sucked...
Disability, Disease in Games
Blood 2 and Post-Modernism
Topics, Tropes and Atmosphere in Horror games
Realism Vs. Fantasy - Who Wins?
The gradual drift away from the mainstream
Is There Horror in The Ugly...?
The Fourth Wall and taking games seriously
Are You Always Online?
Hype: Aliens Vs. Predator
To shoot stuff or not to shoot stuff?
Character Design and Choice in Games
Culture Vs. Creativity: Where do Stories come from?
Where you go Isometric-Strategy Games?
What's the Point of Games?
Do Horror games even still exist...?
Why are Characters Always so White...?
Choice in Games: Heavy Rain

A Magical Dolphin Plays:

The King of the Wood


Resident Evil Remake
Aliens Vs Predator 2
Sweet Home
Forbidden Siren
System Shock 2

Pick up and Plays:

Call of Cthulhu and the Spectre of Good Horror
Story Books and Nightmares in Rule of Rose
B-Movie Bliss: Extermination
Along for the ride with Michigan: Report From Hell
Some thoughts on Wargame: European Escalation
Skyrim: Impressions

Funny/Less Critical Stuff:

Get Yo Summer Game On
Lazyblog: Box Art
Escaping into the Darkness of Hellnight
Diversity what what?!?: Black Mamba Edition
Why Do We Still Have Exploding Barrels...?


Dead Space 3, in a nut shell.
CROSSOVER: Mario X Siren
Boss: Learning the Tools of the Trade

Front Pages:
Tales from Skyrim: The skinhead shopkeep
Steam ID:Panzadolphin56
Mii code:This is a thing?


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