x.jpg Over at GameSpy, they've posted the second in the 'Dream Game' column series, discussing "...what a couple of developers had to say about some of the most popular action games in history" - specifically using Ninja Gaiden's Yousuke Hayashi and God Of War II's Cory Barlog as a stepping-off point to talk about vital features that all great action games have to get right.

During the piece, GameSpy's Gabe Graziani discusses variety of combat moves as particularly vital, though he does choose a bit of a repetitive fighting game to prove his point: "The reason that an action game needs to have combos implemented into the combat system is that you have to keep the "action" that we're continually engaging in fresh and exciting. I mean, Double Dragon II is a great game, but a part of that is because you occasionally get to knee dudes in the face instead of just punching them -- because if all you had to do was punch, it would get old pretty quick."

He also discusses contextual actions with some maturity: "Some games are already doing this sort of thing, in fact, the upcoming Tenchu Z gives you a variety of extermination options once you've grabbed a renegade samurai by the throat. A slightly more popular franchise from which to draw an example could be Splinter Cell: Double Agent, where super spy Sam Fisher can elect to interrogate foes once he has them in a choke hold. Still, both of these examples are from a similar but different genre of stealth games... [but] contextual actions have already stealthily infiltrated many games without us even noticing." This is an odd angle for a column, but I like it precisely because it's alternative.