Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stay Frosty

So, we all know that games are supposedly one of those great forms of art that allow people to bring their own experiences along for the ride and as such enable each person to have their own favorites. 
But gaming is not like movies or a book or a painting, because games need an exhaustive amount of effort invested simply to ensure that the game is able let you play it. Then the game designers have to apply what is possible with some form of story and experience to make gameplay exist. Simply if a game fails on a mechanical level it would be the equivalent of what would happen if Leonardo had decided that the public wanted to see Mona Lisa so bad that he would simply have it put on display with only half of her face drawn in. 
As such games that fail to do this are usually derided by gamers and critics alike because they are not fun, even if the story is great or at the very least intriguing. 
But when certain local print publications begin posting their best of 2008 and put games with such glaring flaws in them, I begin to question that publications quality. To be fair a local newspaper is not the best source for hardcore gamers to go. Newspapers are literally the source of gaming info for the casual creature. 
There was a few grievous titles that were left on this list that make me question the quality of the list in general. 
First up, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Good game. Not best of the year by a long shot however. Especially in light of the fact that one mission is utterly broken (Dtar Sestroyer). This moment completely ruins the game. Also the fact that the game is basically God of War in Star Wars without blood or dismemberment, or the superb calibre of God of War's combat fluidity. Or considering that Ninja Gaiden II came out in July maybe you would think they'd at least try to compete with that.

Sure the maybe if you were a hardcore Star Wars fan you might call it one of the best of year, but then you have to explain that you are a hardcore Star Wars fan. This was not present. The story was good, but not superb.

Next up, Fable 2. Does advertising that you can jump fences, even though you really wont be able really qualify a game for best of the year? Or does shipping the exact same game with a slightly better combat engine? Maybe if you did this in 1 year. But if you did it over 5 years and said that the game will make you feel love and blah blah blah. I cannot reiterate Peter Molyneux's words here for fear that I may summon him, and listen to him hype me into oblivion.

Now maybe it isnt fair for me to bash the game because, well I never played it *wink*, but I will give this game credit for at least not being completely broken, well minus that thing that can break the game that needs a patch that still needs to come out, oh and there is the issue of the DLC that was planned to ship before Christmas that smacks of coulda made it into the gold code but Microsoft decided it would look better as 800 Microsoft points. 

really I'm just sore because games like Valkyria Chronicles, No More Heroes, The World Ends With You, Boom Blox, Burnout Paradise, Ninja Gaiden II, Rock Band 2. Hell they did not even include Metal Gear Solid 4 for fucks sake. I mean I'm sorry but the role of the gaming press should not be to hype the fuck out of what is already gotten 2 months worth of press coverage. At a year end best of the year you should remember the games that you played and you know other people did not play. I mean could drone on and on about GTA IV or Gears 2 or Mario Kart Wii, but i know they all sold in excess of 7 million copies and everyone who played them knows what I would say about them. But if I talk about games that less people played maybe they'll go out and grab those games, maybe they wont because I'm bashing the fuck out of the game but at least I'm giving the game something. But if people buy good games, more good games get made. If we praise adulations upon games that are technically broken, that exhibit signs that they dont know how to playtest (looking at you Star Destroyer pull down sequence) then they treat their paying customers like idiots.

I mean Force Unleashed and Fable 2 weren't bad games, they pretty fun. But they are mediocre games being included in list that is leaving out vastly superior games, that may only be lower profile. And that doesnt slide with me. Oh well at least the enthusiast press is a little better. I mean IGN gave Sins of a Solar Empire GotY, that gives some hope.

Oh and I've decided to simply put quotes from my favorite shows in the Title. Its fun that way.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just In Case You Are Curious

My gaming-esque presents were:

Chrono Trigger on the DS. Awesome.

Thats it. I'll prolly get Resistance 2 for PS3 if I see it cheap ever. 

Oh, but I did get Seasons 4-6 of Scrubs; Futurama: Bender's Game; Sphere (Novel); Doctor Who: Series 4 (Since I have the first three already).

Also got socks, and pajama pants.

Oh, and $500. It was nice.

Played Rock Band with relatives, and got to feel good about being the second best player there, as well as the only one with the confidence to actually sing when no one else would. I believe I even boasted that if necessary I would simulataneously play the Drums, Guitar, and vocals. But quickly realized I lacked the number of limbs required to do that.

My next post I plan to talk about games I'm looking forward to in 2009. I doubt I will talk much about the Blizzard franchises though. They dont exactly need the coverage.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Told the Holidays Occur at this Point in Time

Quick update. 

Finished Fire Emblem on Wii at long last. Game time registered 70 hours played. But taking into account resets and start overs a time of 100+ hours is more likely. Good game though. 

Now I am currently trying to track down copy of the new DS Fire Emblem that is not yet out in north america but is out in the UK. I've found a few copies. But I'm not tossing $100 out for it a month early. I'm willing to spend about $50 max. But I think I'll prolly just wait till it arrives here in february or whenever. No release date is regrettable.

In other news I am debating what game to play next. I continue to play nightly rounds of DotA and L4D, but my days (holidays = time to play games in the day!) were filled with Fire Emblem. My main games I'm debating are currently Valkyrie Chronicles, No More Heroes, or and number of other PS2 rpgs that i have yet to finish (list includes Star Ocean 3, Persona 3, Dragon Quest 8)

Also playing a decent amount of time with Rock Band 2, which is very fun. Suck at the drums ( my foot doesnt like being involved and gets very painful ) but vocals and guitar are always a blast. Slowing working through things on Hard, but playing on medium as well to unlock stuff.

In pseudo-gaming news, I'm getting a new PC pretty damn soon. I'm thinking of an Core i7, Nvidia 260. prolly get an Asus motherboard. Hopefully for the first time in my life I will get a computer that can actually get upgraded too. I almost always get a motherboard that doesnt support newer CPUs, or that forgets something rather important (this time it was PCI-Express, so no new graphics cards).

Should set me back around $1500, which is a savings of over half of what i paid last time. But then I wanted bragging rights on a Voodoo PC. 

So i better get to L4D right now. Ciao.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So I put in a new Wii game, No More Heroes, and was shocked to find a game that uses the Wii to amazing effect. You dont waggle your remote excessively, although you do use the waggle for a reload/recharge, you dont have dumbed down controls, you dont have needlessly pathetic looking graphics. 

The game came out like a year ago or so, so i'm kinda late to the game, but the entire presentation of this game makes me glad i got it. I mean the main character wantonly chops limbs and heads off with a bastardly "FUCK YOU!". There are so few games that do what this game does on any system. 

My favorite moment however was when your characters cell phone rings, you dont know what button to press to answer it, but you quickly realize it want you to press '2' and then the call comes in entirely through the speaker in the remote. You put it up against your ear just like a cell phone. Why hasnt anyone else done this? It is awesome! I've never felt such immersion in a game as when the sound came entirely through this fake cell phone.

Also, I really need to get back into Fire Emblem on Wii, i was doing so well in it but then shit hit the fan.

Also i need to get back into Valkryie Chronicles. Oh and the Witcher... It's gonna be a busy holiday. 
Oh. Also Rock Band 2 is quite fun. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Get It Off! Get It Off!

Words you will hear alot playing Left 4 Dead, perhaps the greatest co-op game ever built. The game oozes with quality, and is simply full of the trademark Valve-isms that Half-Life 2, and Team Fortress 2 have begun to make standards of gaming. From the thousands of lines of dialogue that may potentially be spoken, that dynamically re-acts to the action unfolding around you. (Although I've yet to find any dialogue as funny TF2's Spy being lit on fire "I seem to have spontaneously combusted.") Get your friends together, plug in your microphones if no one is in the LAN, and start killing off the zombie hordes.

Okay so perhaps you'd like a slight explanation of what Left 4 Dead actually is. Well it is a game that occurs in the zombie apocalypse. You and 3 other survivors find yourself trying to escape the hordes and well survive. The game does not try to be realistic, which works well. Pistols never run out of ammo, but do have a significant reload, and fairly significant damage-distance ratio making them fairly ineffective at long range. Survivors can take punishing brutality from zombies and never become infected. (The game explains by saying that you are the random element of humanity that is immune to the infections, at least I think it says that somewhere...)

Anyways, you start at point A, you need to get to point E. Which is your rescue. The levels are fairly linear, but have enough variety in the paths to make it possible for minor route changes to have significant impacts on gameplay. For example a shorter path may be known, but is guarded by a witch. You can take the longer route and therefore avoid her completely. Or you can just headshot her with the shotgun; but to be fair that is pretty damn hard. So along the way to Point E you stop at Safe houses which basically serve to slow the pace down, and also are when the new level loads. 

The standard co-op is great fun, assuming you have somewhat decent teammates, but the game only truly comes to life when you play in VS mode where the boss zombies are played by real live human opponents. This mode is brutal. The normal mode gives you brief respites every after intense fights. But VS mode is constantly intense. New players spawn as the boss monsters. Although the Boss monsters always spawn in the same frequency. Two Hunters, fast leapers who fully immobilize their prey but must get to their target. One Smoker, long range tongue user who brings his prey to him. And One Boomer, who vomits on survivors which brings in the horde to assault the survivors, Oh and he can also go boom! when shot. Basically they will fuck you over. Badly. So badly that you will want to leave the game right away. It will be that bad.

But you should not. For after the hordes are done feasting upon your tender flesh you will get you hunt those who only moments ago slaughtered you. And you will make them feel the exact same as you felt.

Well, I should clarify, this is assuming your team knows what it is doing. If not, well it is not doing to be pretty. Although there are few things that are as redeeming as outsmarting a human opponent. Hell thats why we play multiplayer games. Beating real people just makes you feel superior.

So who should get Left 4 Dead? Um... well most people who should get it already have it. But if you like zombie movies, or enjoyed Valve's previous games but was unsure of this one. Well just get it. I'd recommend PC over the 360 version. But then I am very Biased towards the PC. (Or am I? I mean I dont exactly own any companies that directly benefit from the  sale of PC games, and I'm not in the hardware industry. So I suppose I'm really not biased. Meh, go figure.)

So yea. Left 4 Dead is awesome. I hope you get it, and enjoy it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Post War Analysis

World at War analysis I should clarify.

So I've beat it and toyed around in multi-player. And well, I think was hitting the singleplayer a little hard for things that maybe didnt deserve it. Overall that is a moderately emotional game. So I think they should be commended for that. However the overall gameplay within that emotional game cannot be called as moderately good. It does what CoD 4 does but at best it matches it. Usually it isnt as good though. 
If we start talking about multi-player though. Then the game deserves some cookies. This game is a good game to play with others. First of all. Tanks. They are fun, or annoying when the other team has 4 of them all over the map. But if you build your class properly and are careful against them (like you should be when facing a tank) then you can be a thorn in their side. Of course if they complement their tanks with supporting infantry, well you're teams in trouble. 

Now i just wish i could find some servers with decent latency to me. But usually I looking at 100 for a low ping. In Source games i can usually find hundreds of games with pings that are 50 or lower. But The multi-player is still quite fun, and If you love Call of Duty 4, but want more. This is it.

Left 4 Dead will be my next topic to discuss. Whenever I get around to it.


It's My Multiplayer Game of The Year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More CoD 5 Rambling

Just to make it short. Fun game. Although Singleplayer has some very poor design choices. Not the gameplay. Gameplay typically is fine (albeit that sniper bullshit still pisses me off). Multi-player is CoD 4 with new skins. So it's still great. Few new modes even.

So it appears that While most of the time the Japanese simply up and Ran straight at the Americans in Bonzai charges, there was a few cases where they did not. Noticably on Peliliu. How on that island they actually never Bonzai charged. So when the game depicts them doing it there they really shouldnt be. They had all these secret hole that they could jump out of and then kill a few americans and retreat into them again. The game has them come out of the holes, but then just bonzai rush you.
Also the Makin campaign makes no sense to me. There is 2 traps set up for your squad. But the thing is the Makin raid was a surprise raid. Why the fuck would the Japanese have traps set up on and Island that they dont think is coming under attack yet? Exactly they didnt. The Makin raid surprised them and was a pretty decent surprise attack. But the Navy decided they would stick with ambibious landings.

Oh and the Russian campaign this time around is utter crap. When it isnt being a stupid ass sniper mission that is obviously trying to copy CoD 4's "All Ghillied Up", it is pounding your ass with a Miracle shot German sniper. This campaign alternates between stupidly easy and stupidly tough (I was playing on Hard, so i do expect a challenge). The thing is the main reason I suffered was that your guy calling shit out says stuff like "He's behind the car!" and there are three cars out there. Awesome. Fucking awesome.
Oh and then there is a intro-animations which seem like some ultra-bs-patriot garbage shit that could not have been used at the time. See the thing is the intro's are very much like CoD 4. But CoD 4 got away with those because we have that technology for briefing our troops going into the field. In World War II they did not. Look at how CoD 1 & 2 handled intro cut-scenes. They used military maps, on projectors and slides, and gave you diary entries to read. So that it actually felt authentic.

I mean the game itself is good. Mostly. And Multi-player doesnt suffer from these because it gets the benefit of being an arbitrary fight between two sides that ressurect every 5 seconds. It's just there are some strange choices. And I Swear if I hear that damn Reznof or whatever cry for German blood one more time, I'mma kill the racist bastard. He's one step away from screaming "RAPE THEIR WOMEN AND CHILDREN!" which is something that I'm sure many Soviet troops cried as they entered Germany, but that doesnt mean I want to play a game about it. There is a point where historical accuracy should take a backseat.  Honestly the push into Berlin the worst feeling I have ever had playing a game. Shooting troops in the back on their homeland has no good feelings to it. Especially when the CO is goading all the troops on like some racist prick. I mean somehow they had to differentiate this from the push on Berlin that happened in the other CoD games.But Taking it this direction... bad call. 

Guess I'll finish the rest of the game now. Thank god I think the Russian crap is over. I really want to play the first two (+the expansion) over again though. Play some well done russian campaigns.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Apologies

For you know.

The lack of posts. Essays and studying does not promote good blog keeping.

Also the want to spend what little time I do have playing games futher inhibits my ability to write here. 

So this will just be a quick update.

Fallout 3

Awesome, Very good RPG. Best one since the Witcher & Mass Effect.

Valkyria Chronicles

Really amazing art, fun twist on turn based combat. Neat story, that draws some strange parallels to the real world. I'm really enjoying it.

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm

It is a Naruto game for the Naruto fans. The presentation is good, but a little underwhelming if you dont know whats going on. Very little effort to cover everything about the story, so it is clearly made for those who already know it. The graphics are amazing however. This generation of video games have really figured out how to bring Anime into 3D engines. Oh and the specials in the fights. Wow. Just Wow.

Wrath of the Lich King

Oh I dont play WoW. So yea it's probably more of the same though.

Left 4 Dead (demo)

Its interesting very fun when it doesnt lag out, and everyone understands what they are doing. Should be good to get to fully play a campaign and also try out the VS. mode.

Call of Duty 5 (World at War)

It is Call of Duty 4 in WWII. The multiplayer is literally exactly what you saw in CoD4 but with more. If you really like the setting I suppose it could be worth it. However seeing the Japanese portrayed as tactical geniuses in those Island battles is just nuts. Honestly they used Bonzai attacks over and over and over. And typically suffered 7 men dead to kill one American and wound a few others. Guess gameplay trumps historical accuracy. Meh long as its fun I guess.

Edit: too many edits. Made a new post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If I'm Here I Do Not Have To Write Essays!

So lets get onto some stuff.

Resistance 2 Beta:

I think i can talk about this. And if I cant well then whoops. Send a crack legal team over steal my hundreds of dollars of assets. 

It is pretty fun. the Co-Op is all i've tried out so far, but it is good. Mainly play the medic. Which is fine for me because they get like double the exp of everyone else when they are played correctly, because healing instantly tosses up like 20-100 exp where as most kills are only around 20-50 exp. The leveling up system makes you feel like progress is being made with actions, and it seems like a long progression system. 

Overall the game seems good. Good aiming system and hit detection, nice graphics, all good production values. Giant monsters to kill in a team. I'll definitely get it at some point in the future, prolly not at launch though. Too much to do.

World of Goo:

Jeezus christ this is how we need to push games. The aesthetics are brilliant, the sound effects are perfect (how did they know that goo should sound the way it does, how do you figure out what noise it makes when it sways in the wind?!) and the music ohhhh boy. yes if you like finding those gem of an indie game. This one you should look at. There is even a fairly lengthy demo. 

The game is best described as an architectural puzzler. Because you have to build buildings to bring the goo where it needs to go. Sounds crazy, But believe the first time you figure out how to get across the pit (no spoilers here but i really enjoy just figuring out the solutions because it is totally not a fixed path, there are probably at least a couple of valid ways to get through every stage. 


Turn based card battler! Well I adore turn based strategy games so this was pretty much a no-brainer. Especially once Tycho of Penny Arcade fame pushed it on his little website. It is very fun. And upon completion of the demo, i was compelled, NAY obligated as a lover of turn based strategems to give them their $20, so that I might continue to play it.

Oh also apparently there is like 6,200 games coming out in the next 6 weeks. Woohoo. Well I do have multiple research intensive (or is it extensive?) to pump out. So I had best mosie on to those. 

Ciao. Oh and if you've read this far. I love you. 

Friday, October 10, 2008

So I Lied.

See there was this other game that I got that I totally forgot to talk about. And the funny thing is, it is a rather high profile title. Also I quite enjoy it. I simply had been avoiding it for the prior 3 weeks because of its ability to pull me into it far too effectively.

I am of course speaking of the one and only:


It certainly gets credit for being unique. Also for being fun. If not for difficulty. Although the final stage helps with that. But lets go a little more in depth to its lack of depth.

Cell Stage: You are pretty much Pac-man. You eat the color of food that matches what your mouth can eat; jaws eat the red meat bits, which you can get by killing things also, filter feeding mouth eats green bits you find on plants. It is fun enough, and it is pretty short. The evolution mechanic here is simple and doesnt give you a whole lotta flexibility, but it isnt suppose to yet.

Creature Stage: You are in an action RPG that has little to no purpose. You either befriend neighbouring creatures, or you slaughter them all into oblivion. It's alright and seeing your first Epic creature is quite a sight. I actually got to see two of them fight, although the winner then turned around and killed me... so yea. Fun Fun. Creature creator here is the real fun, the potential you have is basically unlimited. If you can think it you can probably make it. And it is fun just making things. Sometimes you make quick easy things just to make it. Other times you want the windows to look just right, or you fiddle getting the eyes in right spot, then you move the tail around just right. Positioning the arms and legs though is the real challenge. Get that done well, and your creature can be pretty badass. 

Tribal Stage: RTS so fucking light. You basically mass produce your guys and rush the other tribes. The clothing editor Is very fun to fiddle with though. 

Civ Stage: RTS slightly heavier than before. Basically you get to build buildings and vehicles now. I made a tank, which was awesome for me. The quest for spice is interesting, although also quite easy. I really like making buildings. Especially homes.

Space Stage: The WTF where did this massive game come from. Okay you know how there are 100 Billion stars in the Galaxy? Go visit all of them. Also there are going to be crap load of other Aliens out there also exploring and doing stuff. Many of whom will be dangerous to you. I swear if I get anymore simultaneous attacks on three colonies at once again. But once you actually get the feel for the flow of space stage you can easily lose hours on end playing it. The game's entire depth is in this part of the game. There is no quick way to finish it, there is barely even a truly finish the game proper. But you certainly can have fun, and if you like having fun, in unconventional games, well then you cant go wrong with Spore.

Whats that you say? You're not sure if Spore is for you? Well answer this. Did you enjoy the Sims. If you said yes, then yes you should get Spore. Different game, but the experience overall is similiar.

So yea, I'm done with Spore for tonight, but every now and then it is one hell of the game to blow an evening playing.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stuff = No Posts

School's Back in the swing, so it's hard to get extra time to type stuff out but here I go.

Force Unleashed:

Fun game, The story of it is very, very nice. Must play if you are a Star Wars fan. The gameplay is decent but really lacks depth. Sometimes you feel totally badass, other times you just feel like ass. Often during the same fight. I am specifically referring to enemies who sometimes recoil upon being hit with lightning and other times do not. Very annoying. 

Overall it is a solid rental for all. Especially since it only is around 10 hours long. -ish.


Very fun game. Pretty short, but the puzzles make you think. I had to cheat a bit to get through them, but I dont especially enjoy thinking over a static puzzle for hours on end. Didnt really get the story so maybe thats just me. And the game seems to make you draw connections to Mario games for no apparent reason. I seriously do not believe that it is a fair comparison to draw principally because they are fundamentally different games. (Mario games very rarely test brain power beyond simple implementation of simple ideas the compound to produce somewhat more complex gameplay/puzzles; While Braid focuses exclusively on interesting highly unique puzzles that often involve the manipulation of time and a freaking goomba look-a-like.

Buy if you have $15 burning a hole in your pocket.

Castle Crashers:

If you have friends with a 360 and you often play games online together with it, then you owe it to yourself to get this. It is a classic beat'em-up with an awesome sense of humor with fun combat, cool levels, and even cooler enemies. Awesome game to play with friends.

Other than that. Well, I suppose I'll talk about the games I'm playing right now:

Call of Duty 4; Yep got suckered into the multiplayer again. It's fun as ever. Especially since I'm focusing on LMGs now. Nothing like unloading round after round into a house and killing people via deep penetration. 

Team Fortress 2; It's always there, it most likely always will be. It is simply an awesome game and probably the most balanced team game I've ever played.

Defense of the Ancients; Man if you told me a custom map of Warcraft 3 would have me playing Warcraft 3 for 3 years straight I probably would never have believed but DotA is just that good.

Mass Effect; I'm trying out being Evil this time around. Not quite as fun as being a Sith in KotOR but still pretty satisfying, and not as blood curdling; It's not evil purely for evil sake.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn; The one on Wii. I never beat it so I'm about 50 hours into it now. It's classic Fire Emblem gameplay all over again. The Team I've got is pretty badass now so it is all coming together. Still fucking tough as hell though.

Witcher: Enhanced Edition; Oh my dear fucking gawd, they actually fixed the load times? Wow. Also the inventory is quite a bit nicer. Other than that I havent played enough to notice the new dialogue, but the game still rocks like it did last time I played it.

Halo 3; Sometimes it is the most fun you can have playing an Online shooter, other times it is so fucking stupid you just want break shit. That is what I did recently. Oh well. Live and learn. Also I need a new headset. So like would anyone like to buy me a new one?

That is pretty much it about the gaming I'm up to right now. Warhammer Online seems really fun, but I do not have the time for an MMO until April. (When I can roam the streets with my Bachelor's Degree in hand and ask politely for a high paying job in the Oil Industry)

Oh yea and I was at PAX at the end of August. It was very fun and really cool to see there actually are other hardcore gamers out there. Also getting to meet and talk to Felicia Day, and getting her to autograph my dvd of The Guild was very awesome. It was a great time, and Seattle, man that city fucking rocks. I really wish I had a city with that much culture in it. I'd settle for like 1/10 of it's culture. All our street performers are lame, all our gimmicks shops are lame. But then again I hate Calgary's cowboy love affair. (nothing against the Cowboy stuff, just have problems with this city's over indulgence in it)

Oh and If you arent watching The Office or 30 Rock, what the shit is wrong with you?

Ciao. I've got some busy weeks coming up. My reward however shall be great.

Fallout 3 awaits me after 2 papers and a midterm. Mmmmm bloody mess trait.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's All In The Name

So names mean alot, usually. But they do not actually mean anything really. I mean honestly names are just tags we use to identify ourselves from the others who more or less look pretty much the same as us.

So obviously gaming frequently gives us the option to choose a name for ourselves. Most usually in the multi-player gaming scene. Single-player RPGs sometimes let you give yourself a name as well. But in that context it is utterly pointless as most games will simply take your name to be "x" variable at insert whenever "x" is called for in the game's script. 

But in the multiplayer games the choice of name is very important and I for one feel that people need to spend either a great deal of time thinking up their name, or none at all. Because either you want your name to be meaningful or you dont. 

If you dont want it to be meaningful then great. Just use your own name with some numbers after it. I would recommend "Bob11Forty". Or in my case: "Ryan17Forty". Just make sure to put Forty in it for me.

If you want it to be meaningful however then take a great deal of time to analyze what you want your name to reveal about yourself. Maybe you would like reveal your profound love of DBZ, and therefore call yourself -xXx-Goku-xXx-. I wouldnt recommend naming yourself after the main character of an incredibly popular show however. A lesser minor character might be acceptable, but the main character, it lacks originality. Unless it is the main character from a long defunct show that lends credit your "geek credentials" 

However this leads into another point. The use of prefixes and suffixes and what we assume they will apply to our "gaming cred", if you will allow. For example, someone might add a simple l33t in front of their name in imply that they are in fact "Elite". This should be avoided, at all costs. If you are in fact an elite player of the game, your opponents will find this out very soon. Your name need not tell this to them. Conversely you might think that putting noob in your name should be commended. This too should be avoided, for you never want to give people on the internet any advantage to lob insults at you. They will find something regardless and there is no point to give them easy shots. This point was proven when someone named themselves "gay boy" and proceeded to record the litany of insults that the Xbox Live community unleashed upon him. Being truthful is not to be pursued.

So what should you put in your name? I would personally recommend your nickname that friends call you. They typically are in short hand so people can quickly say it if they need you to turn around and kill the spy about backstab you. However you might want to add something that defines who you are. 
Myself for example have used RyePunk for over 6 years now.

Rye is shortened Ryan, and Punk is because I am something a fan of Punk ideals. However I like to point out that I am a punk against the punks because they are practically the norm nowadays. 

If i was to recreate a new name I would probably use something that reflected my love of history. So maybe something like "PyrrhicRye". Actually that's not half bad. Might use it in a future game.

So there you have it. Well almost. If you are choosing a name for an online RPG then basically you want to choose a name that fits the setting. So for World of Warcraft think Tolkien-esque names. For something set in Star Trek or Star Wars, I'd recommend a combination of name from various characters that you liked. But not Kirk Spock. Or Luke Skyclimber. I usually use Galcyon. Why? Because the random name generator in KotOR tossed it up and I liked how it sounded. 

So that is pretty much all I have to say about names at this point in time. just remember a few more bits and bobs. Names that are essentially bragging rights should be avoided at all costs. Randomness gets extra brownie points, having a name that says you are elite, pro, extreme or and such positive reinforcements to your already overinflated ego should be avoided.

Okay? Well do try to apply those. Thanks. And buh bye for now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SC 4 & BC:RA

very light reviews today. Sorry for lack of updates. either too tired from work and just want to game, or just dont care enough. My bad. I've got some rough drafts of stuff that I'm slowly working on so stay tuned for those.

Soul Calibur 4,

it's Soul Calibur on the Next Gen systems. If you liked the previous ones you'll like this. Pretty much nothing has changed, barring slight moveset adjustments, and the inclusion of the armor break/soul crush moves. The soul crush moves almost never come into play though so it's kind of a moot point. If you like Soul Calibur you probably already have it. 

If you've never played Soul Calibur but would like to try a new fighting game for when friends come over then I would highly recommend this title. Its fighting system is simple enough that new players can pretty much jump in and mash buttons to a degree of success, while veterans can show off their skill utilizing slightly more advanced moves like counters, impacts, and parries. 

Oh they also increased the boobs. So i guess that is a plus.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed.

Its the classic old school game brought back. With shiny graphics and mind fuckingly stupid secrets. Honestly I never once played the original so i'm in no place to review this title as someone who played it. What I will say is pretty bashing, but oh well.

No jump. No movement in air. (none, zilch, squat, zippo) Horrible collision detection. And retarded decisions on how the bionic arm shoots out. 

If i was simply talking about the single player game's default stuff. Then the game is quite good and most of the above negatives dont really apply, however it is nothing amazing. If however I take the fucked up challenges and the plethora of stupidly secret shit in the game, then I would be forced to knock it for not including such basic features... Like a jump button. I mean for fucks sake. they only use 3 face buttons. 

Is it because adding a jump button would make the game too fucking easy? 

My biggest reason for this complaint is that I played Ninja Five-O. A game that uses a grappling hook AND has a jump button. There are no stupid puzzles that make no sense because the military forgot to teach it's troops something as basic as JUMPING OFF THE GROUND! I wouldnt think you'd need to be a damn ninja to figure this shit out. 

So if the game was a straight remake I wouldnt hold the exclusion of the jump against it. But because they went to elaborate lengths to add numerous extras, and even through in a "new" side swing option, and failed to add something as basic as JUMP, I cannot in good wisdom recommend this title to anyone but those who played the original. It is simply too archaic and stuck up its own ass to see current modern innovations. Like a jump button. 

But the game is quite fun. As long as you avoid the challenges. My god avoid the challenges. Avoid them. Avoid them. Avoid them. They will bleed any enjoyment you might get from the game into dust. And then kick you in the nuts.

my idea of a challenge is something that makes me think "what do they want me to do here"
These challenges ask no such question. The path is almost always obvious. The only problem is pixel perfect timing is required when you launch your stupid fucking arm, and slight deviations result in failure. At least the game lets you restart instantly. I have no desire to acquire "eagle" times on the challenges. They sapped any fun I might have procurred from the game. And I very much doubt I shall return to it again.  

So yea avoid the challenges, stick the main game. Because the normal levels are awesome fun, and the boss fight are also very fun. Just ignore the extras, or you will loathe the game like I now do. For the record I  have currently completed roughly 75% of the challenges. With only the most irritatingly difficult ones left. Most that remain are quite simple in goal, but the actual execution on such a flawed control scheme makes it a trial of your patience more than of actual skill. I do not want to be punished for missing a grapple by .2 seconds. If I grapple the fucking platform that should suffice. 

It is simply poor design on the challenge. Now you might say it is suppose to be "CHALLENGING". True but challenging and ass-rape are two very different things. One makes me think about what I am doing wrong and makes me correct it. The other has me doing the correct thing, but still has me failing for missing by mere pixels, and results in me throwing my controller into the wall.

So yea. Fuck you "challenges". 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

E3 Ala Penny Arcade.

Kudo's to Gabe and Tycho for simplifying 6 hours of presentations into 3 panels. Bravo.

E3 Blergy Blarg continued

Sony Press Conference

Having seen Microsoft getting down on their knees for the anticipatory money shot that is the casual market's giant collective wallets. Nintendo and their further groping for yet more Casual hook-ups. What could one expect from Sony. Apparently a history lesson. I myself am a student of History, so seeing the teleological view of Sony's past as recounted by one Mr. Sony Head Dude, left me a slight bit skeptical. However what they did show seemed fine. Some nice looking games, most genres represented, apparently they do still care about the PS2 and PSP, which I suppose is nice. Even if it is just like me saying I'm looking for a lady with a nice personality, when really all I want is someone who's good looking. (Hey I can find personality after I've had a trophy gal for a day or two...) 

So overall I'd have to say that the big winner this year of the conferences was (as stupid as such a premise may seem): 

Uhhh you actually want an answer. Um, I'm going to say Fallout 3 wins. That game looks awesome. Then I'll say Sony. I guess it is true they have the most exclusives. Although that 360 sure has a lot of RPGs coming up soon. So it can have second place for that. Nintendo doesnt really deserve a mention until they put out a game that uses swords to have a bloody bloodfest of a game that takes advantage of the new peripheral they have made.

Although that Madworld game looks fucking tight. Ramming a sign pole through a guy's face... Yes Please! someone give that dev team a cookie.  

So that's the main events of E3. Nothing Earth Shattering this year. But still lots of high quality games to look forward to. I look forward to not being able to afford them while I attend school. Awesome. 


Monday, July 14, 2008

E3 This and That. Egads.

First some ground rules, before I talk about conferences. Any talk of sales figures or more or less partisan-esque fanboyish bragging rights is not going to impress me, especially if you appear to be twisting the figures. Also multi-platform games. Dont act like them coming out means anything.

Microsoft Conference Thingy

Or I suppose I should say the Xbox 360 Conference. Games For What-dows? As a PC Gamer this is insulting. But I move on and live, I dont rely on Microsoft for my PC Gaming, they honestly continue to half ass it and as such I dont look to them for PC Gaming, I look to Valve and Blizzard. But enough of that.

Getting Final Fantasy Games is nice. But I have all the systems, and the PS3 version will rape the 360 version simply because of Japanese release, but Multiplatform releases are not the end of anything. Multi-platform releases should be encouraged.

All the games shown all look very nice is press trailers, but then thats what a trailer does so I wont say much about the games. Well I will say that Co-Op in Resident Evil 5 is gonna fucking awesome.

Apparently the 360 will be getting Wii'd. Avatars, and a stupid number of attempts to grab that precious casual market. Thing is, the casual market already has their Wii's. They arent going to run out and get a 360 for these features because they like their Wii's enough already. Even if the new stuff does appear very compelling. My only question with all of those new and very compelling features (like the party system, and game shows thingies) is how much is all this shit gonna cost? I dont exactly want to drop more money on all these things even if they are just 6 bucks each. All I'm going to say, is: Damn they really want to get blown by the casual market. 

The one answer I didnt get that I really wanted was Castle Crashers release date. The game is gold, it's just waiting to come out. Oh well.

Overall though, good job Microsoft, things look nice for the 360's future. If you only you gave a shit about the PC.

Nintendo Conference

This one's really easy for me. Lots of bragging, and boasting. Lots of "I told you so!" The message to "hardcore gamers" was pretty short though.

The mario and zelda in house dev teams are working on the next versions of those games and we'll have more on them at an undisclosed later date. So yea.

New Wii Sports, A snowboarding game, Animal Crossing, Wii Music. And Activision milking Guitar Hero even more. It's a good expansion of Nintendo's current strategy, but leaves most old school nintendo fans out in the cold for now. 

Although GTA on DS might be really cool. We'll see I suppose. 

The new 1:1 Wiimote attachment could be very cool. But Only if someone makes a good game for it. The Wii Sports Resort is interesting but unless it's $30, i cant see myself getting it.

Gonna watch the Sony Conference and then I'll post on it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Problem With The Halo 3 Experience

For the most part Halo 3 is a very, very good game. Although my recent experiences have brought forward some revealing truths behind it. Most of my complaints do not deal with the gameplay itself, but rather the matchmaking system. So I'll hit the gameplay problems first.

- Headshots happen, but only if you use certain guns. What the shit is that? If I shoot a guy in the face with a battlerifle or sniper rifle, then it deals more damage than normal . But using the assault rifle or anyother close range gun apparently has lost the ability to do critical damage by aiming for the noggin. This is most likely for balance because otherwise assault rifles would drop fools so fast at close range that melee would be pretty much pointless. 

-Next up we have a problem with lore conflicting with gameplay. The fact that your shield apparently is weaker around the face. Why? Who the fuck knows? It makes no sense that an energy shield would be weakest around the most vital section of the body, but apparently it is. Basically the shield system should utterly negate the ability to make headshots until the shield drops, but given that you are effectively at no life once the shield fails it would make headshots stupid. However removing headshots would eliminate the need for precision when utilizing sniper rifles, you simply would need to hit the target twice.

-Matchmaking is fucking broken is the next problem. This only really impacts the casual Halo 3 players. Simply put the system relies entirely on TruSkill for ranked matches. This seems nice except each "playlist" maintains it's own unique TruSkill that is independent of the others. Basically you can rank up Truskill of 20+ (over 20 seeming to be very high to me) in one mode, then jump to a different playlist and start at the bottom again. The game sees you in the new playlist as a noob for all intents and purposes despite the fact that you may have played hundreds of games in another ranked playlist. This pretty much results in teams being stacked when one player ends up gutting the entire enemy team. The game should compare experience and Truskill together when matchmaking. True this would be longer but, if I have to fight anymore people who have 1000+ matches under their belt I'm gonna fucking puke, I play it casually for a little fun, but being owned into oblivion is fun for no one but idiots who run around screaming "I PWN NUBS!!!"... More on those idiots in a later post.

Basically that's my problems with Halo 3. When the game actually does get you matched up with opponents of similiar skill the game is a blast and easily one of the best shooters available for consoles. (Although to compare it to PC shooters then it is mediocre at best).

Also I guess my time buying video games is at a close for the summer. I have some credit at EBGames, enough for one new game, so i'll wait for reviews of some good games before I decide what to get. Now I begin the saving up for school. Whoop-dee freak'n doo.


Oh And Go Play More DotA

RyEpUnK on the USWest server if you wanna play with me.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lots To Say

But I want to be brief. So I will try.

MGS4. Great game. 10 worthy. Meh, maybe if you classify as a half game half movie. But the gameplay and the cinematics while both being excellent, do not especially compliment each other as well as one would hope for. It does have some good plot resolution. Assuming you have an ability to follow the MGS plot in the first place. Here is a hint for following, ignore an existential questions as mere ramblings of a dellusional mind and try to to think too much about everything that occurs. The less you dwell on it the more sense it will make.

Operation Darkness. Turn-Based Strategy RPG, set in alternate universe WWII with vampires and other things mythological in nature. I enjoy it in the same way I enjoy the Dynasty Warriors series. As a game that is fun when you simply stop trying to play the best games ever, when you are sick of games that try to constantly innovate simply for innovation's sake. 
Apparently is a horrible horrible game. It certainly is nothing amazing. But I for do not feel that it is deserving a score below the 50% mark. Certainly hovering at 50% is legitimate. But I feel anything in 20% range means the game fails to function at all, or kills off a member of your family while you try to play it.
The game has bad graphics. Yes, it does. But they arent trying to be great.
The camera is horrid. Yes it is. But how many games have a camera that isnt broken? Granted it is very hard to effectively use, but then again you arent exactly being pressured into making high stakes rapid decisions. It is a turn based strategy game, you are allowed to carefully look around see where everything is consider your options.
Honestly the game plays like Fire Emblem with guns. And with a stupid camera that actively is out to prevent you seeing your opponents. But stupid camera's are something that goes with playing 3D games.
The story is out there, but then again games dont really have good stories ever. The VO is mediocre at best, but most times I've found it to be tolerable enough. 
Perhaps I'm making too many excuses for a game simply because I paid money for it. Perhaps.
I'd hope not though. I am enjoying in small portions. Which is how I play all of my strategy rpg games. I never burn through them. They tire me out playing them like that. I can only handle taking several hours each mission before I need a 2 week break from the entire genre. I remember when the GCN Fire Emblem came out I played it for 2 weeks, then put it away for literally 6 months, picked it up again at the end of an August and finished it. Had a great time.

Oh well. If you dont like Operation Darkness that's fine. I do. Even with all it's flaws.

Oh and one more slight bit of news.

Ahem. yea small game. Giant fan of the hack'n slash genre so this is my new most anticipated game. Man I really hope they put a beta out next year. With a release in 2010. Somehow though I just know I'm going to end up waiting until 2011. Which will suck. Blizzard and Valve own my life. All other devs could vanish in a puff of smoke and I wouldnt care. They make good enough games that I could play Valve's shooters, and Blizzard's RPGs and Strategy games forever, and be perfectly happy. 

So that's really all I wanted to talk about. If you'll excuse me I have a Diablo 2 copy to install.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This, That and Gears of Metal

So, several things have occurred in gaming world during my Blog's absence. Most notably (to me at any rate) was the launch of Ninja Gaiden II, and of Metal Gear Solid 4.
I'll start with MGS4 because I havent played much yet, so very brief impressions.
I should open with the statement that MGS4 did provoke me to purchase a PS3, and that is exactly what I did. So far I have not been disappointed. The limited time with MGS4 has been positive overall, and the purchase of Singstar (more on that near the end) cements the confidence I maintain in my purchasing decision.

So MGS4, well it is impressive looking if nothing else. The entire interface is mind blowing, crystal clear, beautiful and utterly awe inspiring. This is a game that has production values through the roof and it's smacking you about the face with them. The game is quite simply the greatest looking game I have ever seen. Crysis may 'technically' be better looking, but the character model of Otacon continues to make me gasp, everytime he shows up on the "ear-chat" info chat-fests, the amount of detail put in his appearence blows me away.
But graphics arent everything, although for the record, MGS4's graphics are perfect to me, they in no way limit the experience and only enhance it. I am not normally a person who cares for graphics but these are quite drool inducing.
So Gameplay. You've played a previous MGS? Pretty much the same, solid sneaking mechanics, with the raw combat engine being somewhat passable this time around.
The best moment I've seen so far was when I got spotted and a troop escaped to report in and request backup. The command replied by stating "No backup currently available, make due with what you have." That blew my mind, for once no unlimited spawning enemies? In MGS? What? Of course I then minutes later found a respawning area of enemies and that illusion was crushed. But then I quite frankly dont give a shit about MGS's gameplay anyways. It's all about Snake baby, and I hear good things about this story. So I'll stick around.

Ninja Gaiden II
You kill shit, shit bleeds, alot. You will become frustrated and want to smash something (you may smash something repeatedly as I did) and you will hate this game. But ultimately the game simply needs you to push your abilities to understand how the AI fights; that is to say if you block too long you get brutally grabbed, if you dont attack you will be attacked, and if you stop moving you will die. Oh and learn to pull off Ultimate Techniques, otherwise the game will bitchslap around certain parts.
The weapons are awesome, the combat is invigorating and demanding.
Tragically I havent actually really said ANYTHING about the game however. At least not anything important. The game is fun, and hard, maybe it's harder than the First, but probably not. The bossfights certainly are easier. Simply dont use cheap moves and keep your feet on the ground and bossfights are viable. Just need to die a few times to learn what moves you must avoid at all costs.
Overall I really like the game, The enemies are for the most part interesting and it is quite enjoyable to slaughter them. Although the rocket troops are kind of a cop-out to the actual difficulty. Anytime they are around it basically prevents you from even being able to block, but technically they dont show up alot until you play the game on 'Hard' mode.
I wouldnt recommend the game to most of my friends, but they arent exactly hardcore gamers. It certainly is not casual game, at least not Normal mode. Easy mode very well could be quite generous to newcomers, I wouldnt know.
But I like it and if you like action games that only got the action right, then Ninja Gaiden is about as purist as you can get nowadays. Just dont expect a good story. There is evil shit and it needs to bleed, and you have many sharp weapons to make them bleed with.

Awesome party game. All I need now are people to come over and play with. The fact that it can use webcam to record the singing only contributes to even greater showboating.
So, like, if anyone wants to come and have a grand 'ole time singing songs for laughs feel free to tell me.

Until I remember to post again. Ciao!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Let's Talk About Achievements

On the Xbox 360, obviously. Achievements have since their arrival been heralded as the greatest thing to hit console gaming since the notion of saving your game between levels appeared. (Believe me that took a very long time to arrive.) The concept is behind them is utterly simple, yet the implementation was pulled off very effectively, surprisingly so. It is as follows, designers are told that their game must have achievements in it. They must add up to 1,000 points, and the designers are pretty well free to make them whatever they want. When designers make achievements something notable it can really add to your bragging rights and also serves as a visible testament that you actually accomplished the "achievement". At long last gamers can no longer proclaim their greatness without any viable way to test it. You can simply look up that person's gamertag and voila! You can find out right there if they are as good as the boast. Further boosting the lure of the achievement is the fact that an overall gamerscore is generated adding all of your achievements into a single score. Making for an overall bragging rights, although given there are no actual quality control for achievements bragging about overall score is quite pointless given that if you are willing to rent every game you'll probably outpace someone who simply plays a few select games and masters them getting all 1000/1000. Thereby negating the entire allure of having achieved something.

So overall achievements are probably a good thing for the evolution of gaming right? Well overall yes. Although recently several sights I've seen around the 'webs' seem to have me concerned with the future of achievements and games.
It centers around the notion of bragging about overall "gamerscore" which, as stated above, is pointless. The system is not controlled enough to validate bragging about having the most point when you can play only 'kiddy' games and make thousands of points in a few weeks, versus someone who goes for 1000/1000 in Mass Effect. (Something that would take roughly 150 hours of gameplay, perhaps even more.)
What really has me concerned is the consumption of games solely for the acquisition of more achievement points. In this situation we have people getting games solely for their point value and nothing else. The concern with this is that game quality becomes utterly irrelevent to those 'gamerscore whores', the mere fact that it has 1000 precious points to be juiced out is reason enough to purchase the game. Hell, I'm amazed someone hasnt approached Microsoft with plans to sell achievement points outright (I could toss a joke about Avatar, but that's been beaten to death.)

The problem that I have with this situation is that it utterly destroys the merits gaming. No longer is there any reason to play a game. You purely power through it to get achievement points and then move on. One particular occurance of this was surrounding the launch of Penny Arcade's new game. (Great game by the way, very good if you're a fan of the site) A site i frequent decided that it would have an achievement contest, whereby the first to get all achievements would get to brag about having done that. No longer is merely getting the achievements, enough of an achievement for these people, they must now create further achievements out of achievements. With that game especially, I felt that rushing through the game was a disservice to the title. There are lots of little touches in the game that if you ployed through solely to get the achievements you could very well overlook them.
Further worsening this is the fact that if consumer's dont care about the content of their games, then developers will gradually get lazier and lazier, knowing that so long as they provide the achievements, the games will practically sell themselves.

Basically achievements work when you are bragging about having achieved a specific achievement over your buddies. But the overall gamerscore needs to be shot in the back and left for the dead until it gets a revamp or a reclassification of achievement points (maybe achievements earned in any game specifically aimed at 4 to 12 year olds should have their points classified under a seperate gamerscore. While hardcore games get their own as well.
Because honestly does anyone really care that you have 50,000 achievement points. I mean bravo you have played through over 50 games of which at least 35 had to shitty games that werent even worth playing except for your little achievements.
Hopefully a revamp of achievements does occur with the next iteration of the Microsoft console, but for now the system works pretty well and is indeed fun. Unless you're achievement whore in which case i reserve a special level of hatred just for you.

But that's all i got for now.
So Ciao.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boldly We March Into Fitness

Or not so much in my case. Here's the stats after 1 week of Wii Fit:

BMI: 22.29 (21.80 Last week)
Weight: 138.7 (135.75 Last Week)
Fit Age : 29 (Irrelevent this statistic will no longer be tracked as it is based off performance in borderline "mini-games".)

So clearly Wii Fit alone does not provoke weight loss in the already borderline thin. Interesting. However my body does feel remarkably the same as it did a week earlier. Perhaps slightly more "fit", if you will. Overall I enjoy it, although the minigames blow, and the aerobics are stupid. The yoga and strength training are awesome. But i find it hard to devote time for the daily exercises, especially when I work earlier in the day and am tired when i return home. So that kinda sucks. But thats not really the "game's" fault.

So, now I'd like to talk about something that I will talk about at a later date. Achievements. Check back later for more on that. Teaser: "They're awesome and horrid!"

So I found a recent gem at EBgames near me this week. Odin's Sphere. A gem  for a mere $20. It's awesomeness and I'm glad i bought it. Cool combat system (that is fucking hard as nails) and an interesting art style that I adore (fairies and norse gods and shit, But with size ranges being drastically different. Reminds me of the Giant Boss fights in the Mega Man X series.
It is a pseudo-RPG that principally is built around combat first and foremost. Although it is based around the notion that phozons are life force that you take from your dead foes and use to power up your weapon, or use it to grow plants for yourself to eat. Yes thats right you garden in this game. But it is battlefield gardening so it's somewhat more intense than Harvest Moon and it's ilk.

Also i began playing DotA again (Defense of the Ancients a warcraft 3 mod) and it's as great as ever. Although the player base still appears to give Xbox live a run for its money in the jackass competition. Meh the game is still fun at least.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wii would like...

You to get off your fat ass and exercise chubby gamers!
Wii Fit has landed and it's pretty nifty. The balance games seem to hate me tho. Maybe I just have bad balance though. Ski Jumping is fun at least.

But perhaps you wanted to know vital stats of me and myself. Now honestly I had planned to get some photos, but it seems the camera is gone. So I'll take one soon as possible.

But here are the stats regardless:

BMI: 21.8
Weight: 135.75
Wii Fit Age: 21

I averaged 2-3 stars in the yoga exercises, 4 stars in the strength training, 2 stars in aerobics, and 1 star in balance games. Now I just have to keep it up!

So basically I dont need to do much of anything. But then again I am 22, so the fact that I am fit shouldnt really surprise me. So I hope Wii Fit will enable me to maintain a consistency in "fitness" if you will.
Oh and the Wii Fit Board's Avatar in the game. He's really nice. If you're in shape and balanced. Otherwise the dude's a passive aggressive little dickface. He has always been nice to me.
However during my sister's tests her balance was a little off and he threw out the comment:
"Are you frequently unable to stand up?"
Wow. This game is kinda mean.
More impressions later. Penny Arcade Game is also out now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Its Approach Looms Like A Rabid Ferret

Wii Fit is nearly upon. The culmination of what must be at least nearly a coupla weeks of development is nearly here. Soon I will impress you will tales of my manly physique (photos undecided as of yet, but if i do i will reverse the typical method (gloomy in before, perky in after) just to spite those before and after commercials I loathe) with indexes of BMI and "fitness levels" and god knows what else will appear! Hopefully it will be a fun exercise (sorry, my bad) that will get me slightly more in shape.

In other news, ummmm, Haze sucks, no wait it really is quite good, well unless you read IGN, wait there is a demo. Try that, make your own call. Silly people.
Also Dragon Ball Z fighting game is is moderately mediocre, how unsurprising. At least they are getting better at matching the show. Now if I could only figure out whether thats a good or bad thing. I mean, Dragon Ball Z has had what? Like 40 Video Games made of it? It's been around since the SNES days, so that would make it alive through 4 generations, and it is one of the only reason this reincarnation of Atari's corpse hasn't been raped and buried for other poor soul to be cursed by it.
Honestly I used to really like Dragon Ball, but after oh I saw the series end some 6 years ago or whenever it was finally broadcast on standard cable in Canada, I thought that maybe the games would stop. Nope. They still keep coming, and just as mediocre as ever. Progress? Whats that. Oh well I'll leave this poor dead horse alone.

Ninja Gaiden II is my next hopeful game. Although my financial situation is looking tighter than I had anticipated so the purchase of a PS3 and MGS4 may be put on hold for quite some time, also I have yet to finish MGS2 or 3 so... yea. I'm slow and such. I blame Galactic Civ 2.

Speaking of which, Galactic Civilizations 2: Twilight of the Arnor is a motherfucking awesome 4x game. Seriously, this world needs more strategy games that actually use some fucking strategy in them. I'm sorry, I love Starcraft and the RTS genre, but they have nothing to do with strategy, they are real-time tactics games, frequently with an emphasis on resource allocation. But that doesnt fit so well in a nice box. Honestly I think any game where you have to make a move every 1/20 of a second (like pro-starcraft "people")to be competitive probably isnt very strategic. Thats a fucking twitch game that doesnt let you aim a gun. I'm running on another tangeant though. 
Anyhoo Gal Civ. it's Awesome pick a strategy to win, and run with it. Or try multiple methods. The game doesnt hold your hand but it does give you the choice. Personally i've tried cultural victory (and won, but it was set against low AI), and a military victory (and sorta won). And damn if it wasnt awesome. The military attempt was awesome, I was quietly building my forces when another race made a huge gain in culture and suddenly i had lost 1/3 of my territory to their influence. Pissed off by this move i declared war and quickly blew all their forces out of the galaxy. but lost most of my fleet destroying 90% of their space stations. I had not yet regained influence (military might doesnt extend it unless you wipe them out), but they called for a ceasefire. I extorted several thousand BCs from them and roughly half of their technologies. This in effect made the entire cost of war profitable for me. However my other wars with two other species were not as effective, true i was beating them but my economy could not maintain it. I was dragging into debt, and my population was becoming "upitity". Needless to say the culture race made other leap forward and suddenly controled 74% of the galaxy's influence. They only needed 1 more percent to win the game. Then my computer blue screened on me. Fun times.

Wow that was long. Anyways, play real strategy games, play turn based games.
Wii Fit begins tommorrow (hopefully!).

Monday, May 5, 2008

GTA IV Impressions

Well, I have to say, I honestly was not looking forward to GTA IV whatsoever 2 months ago. But then a little things called the gaming media began to play the actual game, and well hearing that a GTA game actually plays well was sufficient to entice me over. Boy was I glad I drank that kool-aid too, it's damn tasty.

The game itself is massive. Not the game world itself, mind you, it isnt very big, you can probably get across it in 10 minutes taking your time, less once you learn the city. However this is a full fledged city, with lots of detail. It believable enough. There are lots of things you can nit pick at (the recent Penny Arcade about GTA IV is an example of it), but there isnt exactly any reason they really detract from the experience.

The combat is fun now, the story is brilliant (although it seems to borrow a little too much from crime movies for certain missions and themes), and the amount of fun you can have simply randomly driving around is impressive.
The amount of content in the game is mind boggling, hours of TV, several sets of real Comedians, and god knows how much radio content there is. Most of it is genuinely hilarious, if you have a sense of dark humor.
There is considerable questionable material content in the game as well. Well pretty much all of it is adult oriented, but then again the game is not aimed at the tweens of today. Also the primary character of Niko doesnt exactly jump for joy at the prospect of genocide. So for me the fact that you can be incredibly evil in the game wasnt an issue. The worst I've done is run over swarms of pedestrians, which by GTA standards is quite tame.

So when it comes down to it does GTA illicit a purchase of your hard earned dollars?
If you've enjoyed past GTAs then obviously it does. If you've been interested in GTA in the past but always been put off by specific titles then you also should. If however GTA has never sparked an interest to play it then this certainly will not convert you. If you dont like open world games you arent going to start with this one either.

So, if you think you'd like it, what are you waiting for? Go get it!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh Noes Its The End of Everything.

Chumps. Idiots. Morons.
People who go to such elaborate lengths to critique things that are utterly melted if you do any research into the topic drive me insane.
My favorite example of sport's commentators who never fucking understand the concept of hindsight. They bemoan players for making the wrong choice and then draw over the play what that player SHOULD have done given how everything happened. Too fucking bad if that player had made a different move, EVERYONE ELSE WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENT FUCKING MOVE! Sure some might still do the same, but nothing occurs in a damn void, and assuming that things do only imply you cannot comprehend the interconnectedness of decisions. Chaos Theory might be taking it too far but if you pass instead of shoot, I'm sure you had a decent reason for it. Maybe you could have scored. Maybe the goalie was already protecting the area you were planning on aiming for and werent in a position to shoot somewhere else (this is hockey talk).

Where this meshes into gaming, is the idiocy of some blogs crying foul because the big guns (IGN, Gamespot, 1Up and all those magazines) get little things called Exclusive Reviews. Like a fucking Exclusive instantly means your blowing the developers and all their publishing buddies, and therefore your credility (they actually say the ethics of the entire business are at risk, but that is such complete and utter garbage. Ethics? Please) is instantly shot for said review. IGN gave GTA IV a 10.0 and hence they therefore must be on the take, or have compromised their integrity as a "distinguished" fucking press outlet.
Tragic thing is that if you read into the words of said review, they talk about the game, they say (paraphrased obviously) "yes, it is getting a 10, but thats not because its perfect, but because this is the example that every game should strive for, a game that pushes boundaries and shows others where they will going."
The thing is all anyone is looking at is the review's score. 10/10. Whoop dee fucking doo. Like that means shit. 
Secondly, A REVIEW IS FUCKING SUBJECTIVE! Who gives a shit what someone else said? A music reviewer could call the latest Jay-Zee album god's gift to music, and I would still ignore it and call it crap. Not because it's bad music. Its not my kind of taste in music. GTA IV is probably a very good game. I'll pick it up today/tommorrow or something. But I have no illusions that opinions are more than that.
Although traditionally gaming reviews are quite objective in nature as well. If the game simply doesnt fucking work, it flat out is a bad game. This is why movie reviews work so well. Very rarely does a special effect shot in a movie not appear. The movie will play in your VCR if you put it in it. But often times the mechanics of a game will simply fail.
Luckily the good, big budget games are pushing to the point where games, more and more of them, can be reviewed far more subjetively than in the past.

In terms of full disclosure I would like to add that I am a regular at IGN, i rarely comment on the site itself, and have only submitted to their mailbag feature once. Overall however i trust IGN for my gaming news, previews, and reviews. Why? Because I understand the reviewers there, I know of their personalities and the games they like, so I understand where they are coming from. I myself have no ties with anyone in the gaming world, nor am I connected in anyway shape or form to the industry. I am simply a fan of gaming, commenting on shit as I see it. I have no desire to get an exclusives myself, nor do I have any desire to get first hand comments from developers or publishers on specific topics. I'll call things as I see them, and nothing more.

I'm tired now. So this will wrap it up.
Everyone calm down. Whether or not reviews are corrupt means jackshit in the grand scheme of gaming. If one place becomes corrupt, another entity will simply take its place. People for the most part do not rely on reviews for purchasing a game. Otherwise there is no fucking way Wiiplay would be the bestseller that it is. Just chill. And find a place that you can relate to for reliable information.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They Be Crazy For The Plumber.

Mario Kart Wii... Its seems fun, i wouldnt know, but it appears to be selling quite well.
That was the indication I got at my work anyways.

GTA 4, is closer now. Mawahahaha.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

They Just Dont Get It

Most people can skip this if they dont want a rant about gaming and society.
Tragically they just dont get it. Sometimes its understandable. Mostly its ignorance. Largely I try to pay it no attention. But that kind of shit builds up in you. And every so often you tend to lash out.
I thought I had moved beyond this. I supposed it was because I had assumed I simply grown up. And largely I have. Sorta. But ignorance persists, even greater, and now it acts like a cancer. Eating at me from the last spot I had ever wanted it to. Although I suppose in hind sight it isnt much of a shock.
I am of course speaking about negative associations that go along with gaming. It is something that I have struggled with for most of my intelligent life. I enjoy gaming, and for the most part, all I enjoy is gaming. Oh I dabble in the numerous other facets of "life" I know about most of history, understand a considerable chunk of the knowledge that exists on the scientific, I read and watch all things that geek culture relates to, but gaming is what I devote my time to. And I am proud to be a gaming geek.
If only others around me understood. But they dont. They expect me to move past it, to simply fall in line with the others in society. That I should expect what other people expect. Oh sure they dont mind that I game, but since I'm not out talking to "real" people, I must be devoid of some miraculous substance that only occurs in person to person communication.
I'm not sure what to say to those who think I'm on a socially doomed path. I probably am. With THEIR society. However I have no concern for that, we all see society before our eyes daily, it functions more or less "efficiently" but I see no need to participate in it.
I like gaming. Alot. And I'm sick of being looked down on for it, I dislike being seen as a degenerate. I dont want much, just respect, and the courtesy to be left alone if they dont agree with my opinions.

Onto a brighter topic (sorta, anyways) GTA 4 is out very soon. It's getting rather crazy reviews *cough* 10/10s *cough*... so i suppose I'll check it out and put some impressions and such after I've tried it out.

I've been playing more of R6 Vegas 2, and while it has gotten better than my initial impressions, I think I've just about had enough.
The guns arent quite balanced, but when you get into a good evenly skilled match its usually quite fun.

Also I wanted to talk about Operation Darkness.
It's a title by Atlus, who always makes the same sort of unique games that never get alot of buzz but are quite often very good.
The game is a tactical strategy game with RPG elements. So its like Fire-Emblem, if that means anything to you. Except the game is set in WWII, and your squad is tasked with the assassination of one Adolf Hitler. No small task in itself. Especially once you realize the game is set in an alternate timeline where the Nazis are secretly Vampires and the Americans have Werewolves. More or less the game plays out like a crazy strategy game that happens to be set in a weird setting.
I enjoyed what i played of the demo and hope to try it some more. The interface could use some work (very hard to control camera, and picking out enemy soldiers from scenery can be tough) but it is passable.
It comes out in June, so I'm hoping it will be my indie game of the summer.
That'll do for now. Ciao.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What A Nice Birthday Gift

Soul Calibur 4 for my birthday. Awesomeness. My favorite fighter returns, with Star Wars characters too.

In other news I'm still trying to get into Vegas 2, but the multiplayer still doesnt feel right. Especially any of the objective games. Deathmatch however flows just fine, and its clear thats what the maps were meant to be played with. I just cant shake the feeling however that the game would be much better with a mouse and keyboard.
This was proven correct when i got Vegas 1, for my PC and can quite easily dominate it. Keyboard + Mouse = my friends. Gamepad = evil little toy for little boys.
Nah thats too harsh. Gamepads are awesome for action games, they just really suck for RTS and FPS games. Therefore leave them on PC. Tragically ever since Halo proved you could have 'fun' in a console shooter it seems the new home of FPS is the console, even with the tragically gimped control scheme.
Oh well.
I'll play through Vegas a bit more, mostly just want to rank up... anything else is sorta beside the point.
GTA 4 comes out soon though, so Vegas has until then.
Also, Wii Fit in May, which I am actually super excited for, just because I'm a whore for charts and graphs of progress over time. That shit turns me on. Seriously, it does, which concerns me greatly. But more important than my lack of proper turn-ons, is that Wii Fit can probably mesh into my gaming life quite easily. A half-hour or so a day is all you really need I've heard. And it seems 'fun', whereby I mean that the game is more fun than going to a gym and having some muscle bound heartthrob yell at you till you do the damn reps. (alternatively it's a smoking hot woman whom thoroughly trounces any manliness that remains.) Suffice it to say, I'll take a Wii Fit right away. Granted There is borderline no way in hell that Wii Fit will drastically alter my BMI (body mass index, you imbeciles) but there is more to it than that. Like balance. Which I've always thought was
awesome, but of late I've come to realize that while my balance may be awesome, it also
seems to be some mutant creature thing that defies all logic.
Well thats all for now.
Classes are pretty much done, Finals next week, then my Spring Class a week after that. It goes until June, then 2 months of work, and I'm on to my final year. Graduate and then...
Well, I'll cross that bridge this time next year.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Formalities be Damned!

I cant be bothered to write formal reviews, I'll write about games and talk about them, you'll get my impressions and that'll have to do. Because the formality of a game review for a blog I'm writing seems questionable at best. Well to me anyways.
So Devil May Cry 4, no review coming. EVER!!! The last post covered it quite well and I believe that will do. If you enjoy stylized frenetic difficulty based games, then you should definately give it a spin.
N+: Quirky adorable platform puzzler-ish that is so fucking hard you will need to buy new controllers. Awesome sound effects too. Visuals are bare but surprisingly 
Awesome physics are what make the game. So yep. Its like $10, and it's easy 
to play a few 
levels at a time. Your call. Quite hard to beat the later stuff however. Multi-player is hilarious though.
Las Vegas 2: Its a fairly competent "tactical" shooter. Its not really tactical and the PVP, multiplayer is mediocre at best, but I want to talk about that more in depth in a moment.
I had not played the first and hadnt played a Rainbow Six game since the first came out 10 years ago or something, so the story made no sense whatsoever. Overall though the Singleplayer was enjoyable, fun sequences, good challenge, could have used a coupla better placements of checkpoints. And making you rely on teammates is good, but then suddenly pulling them out and dropping you in a place where simply seeing your opponents is a challenge, and expecting survival is a joke at best. Luckily Co-Op play countered that quite well. But still, it shouldnt be forced to simply beat a level. However the rest of game was good enough that it is still a very good game.
Overall if you have a buddy to play with, definately get it. If not... well you might just wanna rent it.

Okay but playing multiplayer for Vegas was brutal. Simply because the maps are complete and utter crap. CoD4 suffered for the exact same thing. Halo 2 & 3 as well.
I should clarify that however. All of the game mentioned have awesome deathmatch/team deathmatch levels. But These games also have many different modes of play that are much "better" (imo) than decade old deathmatches. Tragically the maps are never made with this in mind, (sometimes downloadable content is made with alternate modes in mind but they are sold seperately and thus dont count in an original purchase decision) so you get deathmatch levels that are being forced to run objective based play. Which you should never do. Objective based play needs objective based map design. This is considerably harder, Team Fortress shipped with 6 maps. But they are infinately superior maps specifically because they were created for one purpose (you might counter that cp_well can be played as ctf_well, but ctf_well doesnt work as good as the capture point it was originally built for, and i think simply furthers my argument that levels should not be jack-of-all-trades).
Basically to summarize the point I want deathmatch levels for playing deathmatches, and objective based levels for playing objective based modes. None of this lazy level designing that says make 8-14 maps that can play every game type and call it a night.
Now i understand that maps take lots of time to make, believe I tried my hands at such things back in my Counter-Strike days. But having a single map that exists solely for one gameplay type is an infinately more enjoyable level than one level that can play every gameplay type ever conceived. 
My other gripe is the recycling of singleplayer levels for multiplayer matches. Thats really just topnotch slack on the multi-player level design team. Sure its technically efficient use of a limited number of resources, but usually those levels are no right being there.
The ideal i have in my mind is of course based on the original multi-player king.
Unreal Tournament. That game comes withn over 40 maps, mostly deathmatch, but many also specifically objective based, many solely capture the flag, many solely domination, many solely assault (when we had it). Although Unreal tournament was a game built to be multiplayer, largely eschewing its 
singleplayer completely.
So guess I'm saying that I like my multi-player games to be built around multiplayer. None of this add it on later. 

Also work sucks. Especially managers. Burn in Hell you shitty shitty horrible person.  

Monday, March 24, 2008

Long Time No See Huh?

Busy Busy. Well I'll try to say something about something now. Since i feel all guilty about neglecting this tiny portion of my life. Seems with my limited time I'd rather just play games than write about them, but here goes anyhoo.
N+ is fun. very very fun little challenging Ninja gold gathering platforming game. Lots of skill involved but very rewarding once you get it down. Overall I'd recommend most people get the demo and if they like it then buy it. Its $10. and there is a lot of value in this with something like a couple hundred levels.
Playing through Mass Effect again. This time as a jack ass character, quite fun, although being this much of a douche bag doesnt feel right. I'm a mild jackass in real life, but Bioware always gets the writing perfect so when you're a douche scumbag that is really how it comes off. Although its nowhere near as bad as i felt playing darkside in KotOR... some parts where you basically destroy innocent lives is absolutely stomach wretching stuff.
And I think I'll get Rainbow Six: Vegas: 2, because i dont have the first and the whole leveling up in a FPS is mindlessly addicting to me.
The Club refuses to work on my PC, so i went through the whole customer service jive and all they came up with was a resounding.
"Are you sure you purchased your copy from a reputable store?"
Which is really just the polite way of telling me that they feel I have a pirated copy of the game. Pricks. If you're gonna accuse me of something then fucking have the balls to come out and say it. Dont dance around the damn issue. Fact is I bought the game through Steam. And I've gotten maybe 2 hours of play in roughly 5 minute intervals at best because it randomly kicks me back to desktop... I could live with that... if logging into Games for Windows Live (henceforth to be called GFWL) didnt take 5 minutes by itself.
They say a patch is in the works. And I'm a nice guy so if it ends up making the game work, then all will be forgiven. If not, well sorry Bizarre Creations, you'll never get a cent from me again.
Too bad too, the game itself is pretty fun. From what I've played anyways. Nothing exceptional, just above average shooting thats really really fun.

Devil May Cry 4 Review:
Full review soon. As in after my term paper is done in my Seminar Course. Sorry but I've got the Battle of Kursk on the brain.
Heres a snippet of Devil May Cry 4 though.
If you enjoy crazy action, nonsense stories that make no sense unless you abandon rational thought, and scantily clad gals every now and then. Well you may just like the game. Luckily difficulty is not an issue. The easy difficulty makes the game very, very, very easy. But everything above it should give a fairly decent challenge. You'll have to grind up your skills a bit if you start on the Demon Hunter difficulty, but overall its not too difficult. Just dont expect to beat every boss on the first fight, you will need to learn attack patterns and such. Playing on the higher difficulty levels however really boosts the game's challenge, especially since it throws new combinations of enemies for you to fight that you otherwise wouldnt see at all (I'm looking at you Mr. Lightning guy who annoys the crap outta me!)

Well that'll do.
Oh and Smash Bros. Brawl. Get it now if you have friends to play with. Not a better fighting game out until Soul Calibur 4. And this one gets bonuses for hilarious fights that you will enjoy even when you lose. Thats a good game. You lose and still enjoy it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy Busy Of Late

Hence the lateness with the posting.
School had me reading alot so not much time to write up reviews right now.
Devil May Cry 4 is in the pipe, hopefully I'll get time for it late.
SSBB Came out yesterday and it's awesome if you loved the previous ones. If you didnt like it in the past its not going to change your mind though. Hopefully get a review up after I've played much much longer. Only have about 7-8 hours so far. Mostly in subspace mode.
I had a lil post about GDC stuff that interested me, but the internet died and it was lost in a series of tubes, which sucks.
Lots of interesting development talk went down though.
Well I've gotta get to classes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Witcher Review... WHEN?

Apparently a new version is due out sometime around summer, so i'm going to set the game aside until then... Should buy me some precious hard drive space. Normally I'm pretty big on reviewers reviewing the game that ships, but I am not currently (nor have I ever been, although i may aspire to some form of game "journalism", if you will) a professional reviewer. As such I am free to review the game whenever i feel like it.
So the new version will add a shit load new animations when conversing; as well as add lots more NPC models so the towns actually have more than 4 people walking around.
Also shorter load times and better UI, but really Ialready really enjoy the game so its just like putting gravy on ice cream (inside joke). And cannot wait for this "patch" to bestow the true Witcher game on me. 
Its still prolly on gonna let women be whores... but who are we to decide if that universe is sexist and our own is not? Oh-kay i just like Sexing it up in-game... You caught me... Moving on, no Witcher review anytime soon. Bummers.

I will however get a Devil May Cry 4 review up sometime soon. Reading week is helping me quite a bit with the gaming stuff... not so much with the reviewing of a historical periodical by some Stolfi chap... oh well. I'm pretty sure the Soviets win.

Also Ninja Gaiden Black on Xbox Originals coaxed me into buying it. And damn, the game still looks pretty good. Plays even better, and is serving as a nice warm up for getting ready for the bitch slapping that Ninja Gaiden 2 will serve me when it comes out later this year.

Apparently GDC is going on this week (right now in fact), so maybe I'll say something eloquent and intelligent about the state of gaming after having been enlightened by the God's of Gaming. For now I just wish i could remember how i managed to beat Ninja Gaiden the first time around...
Oh Well... Nighty Nighty Folks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here We Go Again

Burnout Paradise Review:

Zoom Zoom. Although zoom doesnt exactly encapsulate the speed 
of this game. Its rare that a game actually requires an HDTV to fully
play the game, but the speed you end up moving at in Paradise has such
a degree of blur and speed that to fully "see" all the surroundings
accurately (and hence avoid crashing into the many things you
'zoom' by with much gusto). 

The question though is does this sense of speed make the game fun?
I mean sure its great that the game looks amazing but how does the 
game play. So the basic premise of the game is that you are dropped
into Paradise City and allowed to driveall over the city spinning your
wheel at light intersections to initiate the various challenges, like 
Race, Road Rage, Marked Man, Stunt, and Burning Lap. All of these
are quite fun. But simply tooling around Paradise city can be an 
unbridled joy, as you look for the special Jumps, Billboards
and secret paths that are littered all over the game.
If you've ever played a Burnout game before you know its about
driving fast, really really fast,
and seeing amazing crashes. And the crashes in this game are nothing
short of brilliant, the game slows down switches angles to show the
heap of metal spiralling through the air and into well pretty much
anything, cars, buildings, signs, buses. The crashes are also pleasant
even when its costing you that Burning Lap event.

The real question with this game is how exactly will you find your
enjoyment with it? Because the game really doesnt tell you what to
do and what order to do it in. It simply informs you of the possibilities
and then lets you go.

Annoyances however are things like the bloody EA DJ Atomica,
whom it seems is going to be gracing more and more EA titles much to
my chagrin. Also there is no way to quickly jump to the events, you have 
to drive across the whole city. Which can sometimes be annoying, but 
honestly i really enjoy driving across town to get to the various events,
finding the various secrets along the way.

Would I recommend this game to others? Oh yes.
buy it if you're a fan of the Burnout series especially. Or if you liked
the old San Francisco Rush series, then this brings back the crazy 
secret routes of that game. The game itself doesnt really lend itself
to rentals given that it simply is the kind of game that you will want
to own forever and keep at it. I suppose you could plough through
the game in a weekend if you are so inclined but in my own opinion
I feel like this is a game you will want take your time and enjoy every part.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review Time (At Last)

Super Mario Galaxy Review:

Its the game that Sunshine should have been. At least thats what I've heard several times in the past. But personally I really enjoyed Sunshine and did not see what people's problem was. But this is about Galaxy. And rest assured whether Sunshine burned you or not (no pun intended) Galaxy is a real treat, although i think it has been over reviewed thus far by most.

You've played Mario 64 Ihope? If so you understand the premise, Mario goes for walk, Bowser shows up steals Princess,
Mario runs around and collects stuff (new collectible is shiny star bits, although they might as well be coins).
Then you fight bowser several times and get the classic "your princess is in another castle.

The deal is this all happens in space. Its quite well done in fact. There are these Galaxies (Apparently Nintendo doesnt get the difference between a solar system and a Galaxy, but whatever)
Also apparently Mario isnt allowed to punch in any game that is not Smash Bros. Because they removed that. Mario can jump or spin now. Well he can jump then spin, but no more punching or diving (i adored his dive move).
The camera is annoying. Mainly because when you're upside-down you are upside down, and i want the camera to follow me a flip upside-down so that i can actually see where i am. It is very difficult to accurately land on something when your view is distorted beyond comprehension.
Now this gripe isnt really much of an issue in this game because the game itself is so easy a mildly retarded child with down's could figure out how to beat it. The game is very, very forgiving, and this is in essence my whole problem with the game. 
By the time you start actually enjoying the game the level design is challenging you and working with the controls (not telling you run upside down and jump on a fucking thousand goombas).
There is no challenge to the game. And to me it feels like this was done to compensate for only partially making the controls feel effective at controlling Mr. Stache. 
You can still enjoy the game, but its for a different reason than I want in game. I cant even describe why I like the game. Its doesnt test my ability to beat it. Sure there are the "challenge bits where you have a time limit, or you only get one health, but they literally make up an optional 1/5 of the game. 
My final problem is the length of the game. It is far too short. You might argue that getting 100% will take a substantial investment. But honestly I dont think it would. Maybe 30-40 hours to 100% the game. But only maybe 10 hours max to beat the game. Certainly it might be enough, many games are less and still excellent games. But the strength of those games is that the gameplay itself is so finely compact and refined that you feel like its was amazing.
I guess my point is that Mario Galaxy is merely a fun game. You will enjoy it, but it doesnt do anything unique.
The character of Mario is can be so much. In Smash Bros. He is a bad ass fighter, in the RPGs he is an utterly aloof idiot. But in Galaxy we see Mario as nothing. He's some guy who doesnt speak, who saves the princess and has absolutely no reactions beyond the most basic emotions that you would expect given his situations.
So Who should Buy Super Mario Galaxy And who should simply rent it.
Any self respecting gamer should at the very least rent it. Those with families would do well to buy it. The children will enjoy it for quite some time, and the content is as wholesome as you can find in video games that are actually good.
The Halo fanboys would be advised to stay away, although they too would enjoy the game.
The People who should utterly avoid the game are those who adore Ninja Gaiden and its ilk of trama inducing difficulty challenge based games. 

So go rent it. Sure it sounds like I didnt much enjoy the game. But really its a treat, my tastes have simply moved beyond it. Most will delight in it.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

One More Quick Overview

So Smash is out in Japan now... well sorta. Lots of shortages and so on...
but damn it is one full game. I mean if you only get one game on a system it should be a game as full of goodies as Smash. The replay value of that game looks to be at least 3 years.
Devil May Cry 4 is out next week and I am hotly anticipating it. the demo got me started. But now i need the full thing.
The Club has me intrigued, but i'll wait for reactions before i personally jump on board.
Mario Galaxy is down the pipe now (if you will allow that), so the review will be up as soon as I finish my Patriotic War Term Paper Outline (thats all you'll hear of it, i dont want to make this a blog about my personal life, but its about Kursk if anyone cares).

Put some more hours into the Witcher, its still a long ass game, so I'm guessing the review will be done in about 3 months or so. Probably after finals sometime, given the current pace.

Also Burnout: Paradise. Hot damn thats a good racing game if you like Arcade racing games. I'll get a review of that up soon as possible also. lots of interesting things, and many new features that i hope other games implement in the future (albeit with some changes).

GTA4 is dated for an April release. To which i say whoop-dee-frack'n-dah. I thought the first 2 were unique odd games, but the others all just suffered from horrid controls and poor implementation. Granted I've heard GTA4 is suppose to address those concerns. I just find it hard to care about sandbox games... I dont have the time to dump into those kinds of games. The only sandbox games that interest me are the utter brilliance of a Will Wright game... Spore... mmmmm i shall create life in its most horrific form ever... oh yes. I shall. I shall them "Shazoomzles"...

thats enough.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Still Alive

Simply lacking focus at the moment. I'll post a new review of a game as soon as finish The Witcher or Galaxy. (Galaxy is likely to be first, since i'm pretty much done it, just want to play all the levels a good amount before I finish off Bowser) Also I've begun playing Zack and Wiki, so expect a review of that at some point also.

Smash Bros Brawl being delayed is sad, but it doesnt bother me too much. Devil May 4 is out on in early Feb, so that'll do until Smash comes in March. The Witcher review wont be done for a long time. Game is super long, and i dont want to rush through it. Its suppose to be like 80 hours and i've got around 20-40 i think.
And now that school is back I have to manage my time so that my classes doesnt suffer. Which means even more time for reviews, but oh well. I'm pretty sure no one reads this anyways. Its just for me to keep writing, which is important for me.

Any other news i could comment on? Microsoft gives Undertow away for free next week. Thats cool, i wanted to try the game but didnt want to spend $15. (I think its $15, MS points make no sense to me)
So yea, Hope my lack of posts hasnt offended my non-existent followers, but real life is taking over.
I'll try to at least make a post a week. But no promises. In 3 weeks the pace will have slowed a little bit (i think, it might not have, but my classes look like i have a slight break between weeks 5 and 8, so That might be when i get some more game stuff up for sure)
I digress.